From: Thomas Gramstad [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2000 6:23 PM
Subject: Announcement: New structured discussion on RandFem list
A structured discussion of a new paper by Bryan Register will take
place on the Randian-feminism mailing list, starting monday May
29th, and closing two weeks later on sunday June 10th. During
this period, other discussion threads and topics will be closed.
The paper is entitled _Ayn Rand's Approaches to Sexuality: Their
Values, Disvalues, and Significances_.
The first paragraph of the paper, summarizing its theme, reads:
As a libertarian capitalist who celebrates western culture,
science, and the technological mastery of nature, Ayn Rand is
the sort of woman many contemporary feminists might want to
call a traitor to femininity.(1) Before we ratify this
assessment, though, it may be of interest to try to situate
Rand's writings on sexuality within feminist discourse. This
reading, marginalized by Rand's followers and by the feminist
establishment alike, is hardly supported by Rand's
intentions. Nevertheless, in this paper, I will investigate
Rand's views from the perspective of Glennon's ideal-type
analysis of feminist discourse. On the one hand, I will
consider and reject the claim that Rand is a synthesist, and
argue that Rand's critique of contemporary gender roles is an
instrumentalist critique. But on the other hand, I will
investigate the darker underside of Rand's bizarre sexual
ontology, finding elements of Aristotelian biologistic polarism
propping up the theory and practice of the oppression of women.
Finally, I will propose that Rand thus keys us in to the
dangers of polaristic feminism.
The entire paper is available here:
We hope you will read it, find it of interest, and participate
actively in the discussion.
The paper was delivered at this conference:
The Female Principle: Eclipses and Re-Emergences
A Conference on the Suppressions and Reassertions of the
Female Principle in Human Cultures
University of Texas at Arlington, March 30 - April 1, 2000
The CFP for this conference was posted on the Rand-fem list last
year. The information about the conference is repeated below, as
background information for anyone interested.
This interdisciplinary conference recognizes the suppression of
femaleness as a primary meaning of Western and other cultures over
a long period. It seeks to document, account for, and interpret
this suppression via the forms it takes -- many still concealed,
clandestine, underexplored -- and their counterforms, from early
periods to the present, and to identify and describe newly
developing practices that counter it. Exposures, descriptions, and
theorizations of this suppressions may be essential to projecting
a future for femaleness in human societies.
Papers may be descriptive, and/or interpretive or theoretical
accounts of specific forms of suppressions, such as the sexual; of
forms taken by coverups of suppression; of cultural contexts
mandating suppression; and of examples that suppression overlooks
-- all these in discourses and social practices worldwide.
Cross-disciplinary and new theoretical approaches are encouraged.
Bryan Register is a second-year graduate student in the department
of philosophy of the University of Texas at Austin. He has
interned at the Institute for Objectivist Studies, has been a
teaching assistant for introductory philosophy classes, and will
in the fall open a small business lecturing on political
philosophy to high school debate students in the Austin area. His
first academic publication was "The Universality and Employment of
Concepts", in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies I-2. He has led
on-line Objectivist discussions of feminism in 1996 and 1999,
including co-moderating the structured discussion of Gladstein/
Sciabarra's _The Feminist Interpretations of Ayn Rand_ on the
Randian-Feminism list. He has written a review essay on feminism
for The Objectivist Center's membership newsletter "Navigator" in
1999, and debated the merits of feminism in "Free Radical" in
2000. The paper now to be discussed was his first presentation at
an academic conference.
Other papers written by Bryan Register are available here:
His Honors Thesis for the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Speech
Communication, entitled _The Logic and Validity of Emotional
Appeal in Classical Greek Rhetorical Theory_, is available here:
"Virtue is the same in man and in woman." -- Plutarch
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