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116 the minnesota review "Women's issues are not exclusive to women, but rather a dialogue about unity ...," Foster says. For many women, though not all, women's issues are about unity. For me they certainly are,from the moment the women involved arestrugglingfrom aplace offull identity . And this, I think, is the bottom Une that Foster and others like him cannot seem to understand: women's Uberation is not about "the lightening of the everyday work load," or even—for everyone—about "the final objective ofa socialist society." SociaUsm has made important strides towards the equality of women. But what all women are fighting for— consciously or even unconsciously—is our identity. Paolo Freiré has emphasized the fact that "we cannot enter the struggle as objects in order later to become subjects." For those of us concerned with revising the canons which inform the accepted curriculum ofstudy (in all areas: the social and poUtical sciences, Uterature and art, even the "pure" sciences), it is not a matter of "add women (or working people, blacks, or any other absent or misrepresented group) and stir." It isn't, quite simply, because the concepts and definitions of these disciplines themselves have been developed without recognition of the existence of women (or working people, blacks, etc.). To be more exp ücit, it doesn't work to go back through history and search for Renaissance women, or women of the industrial revolution, when theperiodicity itself is based, as it is, onthelives of men. For women the Renaissance might have come earlier, or later, or not at all. Or, given an inclusive vision at the time, it might hve been signalled in some other way, called something else. Foster sees what he calls a "narrow subjectivism" in my book, and reasons therefore that my "self-disciphne seems only a variant of voluntarism." My "main flaw," as he sees it, is that I "have [given] up a process of clarification." I would answer that I am deeply committed to a process of clarification. It is a process I do not approach from the outside; I am in it, moving, stUl making my way across the bridge. And I would suggest that it is not a process of clarification Foster and others Uke him seem able to see, perhaps because the angle from which they look is so limited by the rigidity of their own positions. (John Berger's you only see that at which you are able to look.) "Inhabiting, with clearer intention, the dream space," is a statement which seems particularly troubUng to Foster. He asks: "What would Sandino's daughters, or their comrades (in the U.S.), make of this?" Well, Sandino's daughers, and the working, struggling women and men in the United States dream too. I am reminded of a Nicaraguan revolutionary who claimed thatpoorpeople dream in black and white ... liberation, among other things, will mean our people will dream in color. Learning to truly inhabit our dreams is part ofthe new process and practice of retrieving history, finding the ways in which it belongs to us, breaking with the old taboos that keep us from moving forward. "RandaU often dwells on her own emotional needs and circumstances," Foster complains . Sesshu, I think you have missed the whole point of Albuquerque. It does not pretend to be an oral history of working class women in the United States. It is my (middleclass ) woman's return to this country, after 23 years in Latin America: a cultural as well as a sociopolitical reentry, expressed through observations, feelings, analyses, dreams, and commentary. I do not claim a class or ethnic base I do not have. I do struggle for a more creative and meaningful understanding ofhow class, race, gender, socio-political and cultural differences intersect in our individual and collective lives. MARGARET RANDALL Reading in Detail: Aesthetics and the Feminine by Naomi Schor. New York and London: Methuen, 1987. pp. 194. $25.00 (cloth), $10.95 (paper). Naomi Schor's Reading in Detail has the same cover as Roland Barthes' Fragments d'un Discours amoureux [A Lover's Discourse] (Editions du Seuil, 1977), an even more minute detail of the painting Tobias and the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2157-4189
Print ISSN
0026-5667
Pages
pp. 116-118
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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