i Foucault treats the body as if it were one. ii Bartky’s view: “[H]e is blind to those disciplines that produce a modality of embodiment that is peculiarly feminine”. The life and work of Sandra Bartky, a United States feminist. “Foucault, Femininity and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power,” in Feminism and Foucault. Pp. in Bartky, Sandra Lee. “Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power.” Pp. in Feminist Social.

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In contemporary patriarchal culture, a panoptical male connoisseur resides within the consciousness of most women: Woman lives her body as seen by another, by an anonymous patriarchal Other.

But women know for whom this game is played: Here it might be objected that performance for another in no way signals the inferiority of the performer to the one for whom the performance is intended: While femininity is surely something enacted, the analogy to theater breaks down in a number of ways. First, as I argued earlier, the self-determination we think of as requisite to an artistic career is lacking here: Second, the precise nature of the criteria by which women are judged, not only the inescapability of judgment itself, reflects gross imbalances in the social power of the sexes that do not mark the relationship of artists and their audiences.


An aesthetic of femininityfor example, t hat mandates fragility and a lack of muscular strength produces female bodies that can offer little resistance to physical abuse, and the physical abuse of women by men, as we know, is widespread.

It is true that the current fitness movement has permitted women to develop more muscular strength and endurance than was heretofore allowed; indeed, images of women have begun to appear in the mass media that seem to eroticize this new muscularity.

But a woman may by no means develop more muscular strength than her partner; the bride who would tenderly carry her groom across the threshold is a figure of comedy, not romance. A Readeredited by D. Endnotes reproduced below as they appear in the text. Bantam Books,p. The film Pumping Iron II portrays very clearly the tension of female bodybuilders a tension that enters into formal judging in the sport between muscular development and a properly feminine appearance.

Sandra Bartky – Wikipedia

I love that women like Alicia Keys have taken to going without makeup. And nearly my whole life other women have looked at me like I was insane because of it.


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Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power

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