By Elizabeth A. Wilson
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Additional resources for Gut Feminism
I remain convinced that a theory of stomach-Â�mind moves across the conventionalism of both Hinshelwood and Rubin in imÂ�porÂ�tant ways. A phantastic theory of biology strikes me as critical to feminists as they strugÂ�gle to get themselves unstuck in relation to biological determinism, and as they seek ways to poÂ�litiÂ�cally engage that are not always caught in juridical positions of for/against. Conclusion I have been tracking the psychic character of the organic interior as a way of formulating a Â�different feminist engagement with biology: a kind of critical splanchnology (the scientific study of the viscera).
Leaving aside Â�whether or not Foucault makes such a strong distinction between biology on the one hand and social practices on the other, it is clear that Rubin has aligned biological theories of sexuality with repressive politics. To think biologically is to think coercively. Rubin’s antibiologism and her commitment to thinking of power as an oppressive force fit into the same conceptual schema. Her antibiologism and her repressive model of sexuality seem to find succor in each other: together they entrench the belief that feminist politics should be predicated on the overthrow of juridical-Â�biological power.
Rather, the infant is in intensive relations to internal objects—to parts of the world, parts of its body, parts of other Â�people that have been taken in through the gut. Right from the beginning, other things are a core part of me. Right from the beginning, I am impurely, relationally, enterically constituted. Klein object relationship begins with, or soon Â�after, birth, whereas I consider that there is a narcissistic and auto-Â�erotic phase of several months duration, which precedes what we call object relations in the proper sense, even though the beginnings of object relations are slowly building up during this initial stage” (in King and Steiner 1991, 418–419).