In "The Bodies of Women," Rosalyn Diprose argues that traditional approaches to ethics both perpetuate and remain blind to the mechanisms of the subordination of women. She shows that injustice against women begins in the ways that social discourses and practices place women's embodied existence as improper and secondary to men. She intervenes into debates about sexual difference, ethics, philosophies of the body and theories of self in order to develop a new ethics which places sexual difference at the very center of meaning.
Diprose analyzes attempts in both feminist and non-feminist ethics to recognize the role of sexual difference. She critiques biomedical discourses whose descriptions mask a constitution and regulation of "the body." Drawing on insights from continental philosophy and feminist theory, "The Bodies" "of Women" includes critical readings of Hegel, Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida and Foucault as well as productive engagement with contemporary feminist scholars such as Irigaray, Cornell and Young. What emerges is a unique approach to the ethics of sexual difference which both locates and subverts mechanisms of sexual discrimination.
"It is an excellent piece of work--original, daring, carefully and precisely researched and very well written."
-Irene Harvey, Pennsylvania State University
"Diprose's argument is careful and thorough ... [H]er argument gains potentially broad application due to her readings of Hegel, Niezsche, and Merleau-Ponty."
-M. Gail Hamner, Duke University