Struggling Through Material Objects – A response to Iris Marion Young “Gender as Seriality”
Author:Marvin Carter Jr.
Mentor:Emily Lee, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, CSUF, California State University Fullerton
Young’s interpretation of gender seriality is the focus on material structures that define the gender routine, roles, and participation in society. Young argues earlier that looking for the essence of ‘woman’ may be politically counterproductive, but deconstructiing “woman” until it doesn’t mean anything is not politically pragmatic. Young captures the middle ground between these two arguments by suggesting that we should focus on how material conditions create concepts like ‘woman,’ so that the term ‘woman’ is ever changing and contingent in regard to the material objects that shape gender roles. I will argue that when women in this area come together and protest against unfair working conditions, I would be tempted to say we should focus on how the material object of the factory itself creates gender categories, and use that as a focal point of struggle for gender politics.