The Colleague and the Washerwoman: The Other Woman in Feminist Theory
The chapter discusses the labeling and treatment of the “other women” in feminist ideology, in contrast to the strategies and ideas posited in the two previous chapters. Feminist theorists have typically cast the concept of otherness in women as a fluid movement among or transformation into various expedient molds and constructs such as colleague, maid, or Third-World woman. The chapter presents several literary texts which represent important moments in the development of Western feminism. In the first set of books, the unifying theme is the attempt to control this otherness through such techniques as displacement from the speaking subject or incorporation into sameness through the employment of mirroring tools. The remainder of the chapter is devoted to the analysis of five important texts of feminist criticism from such notable theorists as Catherine Stimpson, Jane Gallop, Julia Kristeva, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.
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