Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism

By Janet Halley | Go to book overview

TAKING A BREAK TO
DECIDE (II)

This is the last rereading I'll offer you. I'm going to read the “facts” of Twyman v. Twyman against the elements of the cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress— and then reread them as if they were our best examples of nonfeminist theories about morals, power, and sex that I derive from Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals: A Polemic1 and Foucault's Volume One. This repeats the basic protocol that produced my four readings of Oncale. But there I was trying to make manifest an array of fairly reified social constituencies managed by the legal regime of same-sex sexual harassment law, and to produce acute splits between them. The goal here is to read not only beyond carrying a brief for f: I am trying to get beyond m/f and m > f, and even beyond >. If you find any part of this process to be politically enabling, I think it means that at least part of your political libido wants to Take a Break.

By “facts,” once again, I mean the narrative bites that we get from the various Texas Supreme Court justices whose opinions I study here. I disavow any suggestion that the resulting formulations describe the real human beings Sheila and William Twyman. But I will suggest that the rule Sheila won could be wielded by Susans and Georgettes and Lucilles who fully inhabit the alternative readings proposed here, against Sams and Barneys and Michaels who have married them there.


Twyman v. Twyman

Sheila and William Twyman were married in 1969. Sheila filed for divorce in 1985; and not too long thereafter she amended her

-348-

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Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Part One - Taking a Break from Feminism 1
  • The Argument 3
  • My Complete and Total Lack of Objectivity 11
  • Taxonomies and Terms 16
  • A Story of Sexual-Subordination Feminism and Its Others 27
  • Liberation and Responsibility 31
  • Part Two - The Political/Theoretical Struggle Over Taking a Break 37
  • Before the Break: Some Feminist Priors 41
  • The Break 106
  • Feminism and Its Others 187
  • Part Three - How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism 281
  • Taking a Break to Decide (I) 283
  • The Costs and Benefits of Taking a Break from Feminism 304
  • Taking a Break to Decide (Ii) 348
  • Notes 365
  • Index 391
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