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Keisha Merchant

Standing Alone: Vision Creed


    Standing Alone: Vision Creed


    The Feminist Standpoint: Material life (class position in Marxist theory) not only structures but sets limits on the understanding of social relations. The vision of the ruling class (or gender) structures the material relations in which all parties are forced to participate and therefore cannot be dismissed as simply false. (Hartsock, pp. 316)


    The struggle between the feminist standpoint and the epistemology perspectives can be confusing and troubling.  How can you have the physical without the spiritual?  I think in order for me to examine the readings to my own life, I have to begin with the two journeys.  They both explain the conscious and subconscious mind of life and higher life or after life.  What do I mean by this?  I mean that my oppression has to be created somehow before my physical can conceive it.  As a woman in birth, the labor pains must begin somewhere.  In order for man to create a child, he needs a woman, and vice versa, the process of them joining together is what creates the child, but the pain that the woman endures without the man is complex.  Within these frameworks of feminist standpoint by Hartsock and double vision by Narayan, I would like to entertain the thought that my life of oppression as a woman would be like that illustration of the birth of a child. 


    I would say that capitalism may be the meeting point of my suffering, but is it my true suffering or the process that I must journey to greater life ahead of myself.  I do believe that capitalism will pass away along with oppression, but the complexities of that process will have to be examined by my own intellect theories on why we must go through “labor pains?”  It is evidence through the theories of Hartsock and Narayan that the dominant gender force women to participate in their falsehood of freedom and equality.  Unlike myself, I think I have always been free.  Though I may feel pain, and suffering from the oppressions of this falsehood of equality, I think I am free therefore I am free.


    No matter what my opponent perceive it is not my business in what that person sees me.  In their perspective, it creates a falsehood that I must choose to take upon myself unless otherwise I deem worthy of carry its cross.  I still think that the Native Americans have something strong in the ideology of the spirit.  Sometimes we call these epistemological dogmas, but in the insights of cultures I can see how the standpoint of oppression is built on falsehood of materials and the ruling class.  The ruling class of course has a vision like capitalism, but that vision is seen through their eyes.  Unlike my own eyes, I have a choice to receive that message, or ignore it.  Though oppression is the “labor pains” like birth from opposition to that canal, I am still free to choose life or death in that canal.  The option of that canal is not for me to decide or my opposition.


    This is the question whether or not God or a higher system is in charge over these ruling class identities or not.  It is a complex gesture to say that we practice what we preach, but who is truly preaching?  I say that in Hartsock, the notion that the material life comes with limitations, but I would like to challenge that standpoint and vision.  It depends who is having the child.  The man is limited when giving the child.  He neither births the child nor have anything to do with the process, but the woman who feels the labor pain has more control over the child and its birth.  I ask myself though we have oppression in our lives as women, are we truly and completely oppressed?  We have to come into our own standpoint, and within that vision, I know liberation is for today and not tomorrow.  It is all how you perceive it.


    “I conclude by stressing that the important insight incorporated in the doctrine of “double vision” should not be reified into a metaphysics that serves as a substitute for concrete social analysis. (Narayan, pp. 340)


    The Project of Feminist Epistemology: Perspectives From a Nonwestern Feminist, Uma Narayan, 1989.


    The Feminist Standpoint: Toward a Specifically Feminist Historical Materialsim, Nancy C.M. Hartsock, 1983.