Contemporary women's studies scholarship is Marxist, historical, and seeks to resuscitate the Chinese women's movement in extrastatist terms, from a China-centred frame of proletarian revolution to an international frame of human liberation. The subject of women's studies discourse is neither funü nor nuxing but nuren (which I have glossed as woman in social science representation or, nuren as a category/fanchou).

Tracing a genealogy for the inscription of 'modern Chinese woman' thus has allowed ways of thinking Mohanty's 'historical specificity in the construction of women'. I engaged Gayatri Spivak's question--what narratives produced signifiers for women in another tradition--and can now conclude with Judith Butler's insight that gender is not a relation but an apparatus of production that establishes the 'sexes' as themselves.


Notes
1.
Gayatri Spivak, "'The Political Economy of Women'", in Elizabeth Weed (ed.), Coming to Terms: Feminism, Theory, Politics ( New York: Routledge, 1989), 227. An earlier version of this paper appeared in Genders, 10 ( Spring 1991). Thanks to Mayfair Meihui Yang, Wendy Larson, Charlotte Furth, Renli Wang, Susan Porter Benson, Marilyn B. Young, Judith Farquhar, Inderpal Grewal, and Donald M. Lowe.
2.
Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity ( New York: Routledge, 1990), 7, 111.
3.
One should, given requisite space, begin with a long discourse on the genealogy of Victorian Woman. (See Denise Riley, "'Am I That Name?': Feminism and the Category of 'Women'" ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988)). But I will not do it here, to some degree for the reason Mary E. John has stated in her "'Postcolonial Feminists in the Western Intellectual Field: Anthropologists and Native Informants'", Inscriptions, 5 ( 1989).
4.
I am indebted to Chandra Mohanty, "'Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses'", in boundary 2, 12:3; 13:1 ( Spring/ Fall 1984), and her "'Feminist Encounters: Locating the Politics of Experience'", Copyright, 1 ( Fall 1987): 30-44. The quotation is alas, from neither. The notion of differences without identity is from Donald M. Lowe, History of Bourgeois Perception ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982).
5.
See Mark Elvin, "'Female Virtue and the State in China'", Past and Present, 104 ( Aug. 1984): 114-52.
6.
The word translates as 'state' or as 'nation' depending on context and speaker.
7.
Jean-François Billeter, "'The System of Class Status'", in S. R. Schram, The System of State Power in China ( Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1985), 138.
8.
Chen Hongmou, Wuzhong yigui [Five Posthumous Regulations], "'Jiaonu yigui'" [Posthumous regulation on educating women]. Sibubeiyao edn., iii (n.p., Zhonghua shujyu, n.d.). Henceforth cited as ZNYG.
9.
Ibid., Introduction, 1b-2a.

-69-

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