on progress and the naming of things

In purportedly classic feminine multi-tasking mode, Obrienatrix has updated her femography. This ties in with teaching AND current research work in progress, you see.

She knows “gynography” is more technically correct in portmanteau-formation-methodology, but “fem” seems better: the current loading through common usage is right (cf. the large number of feminist blogs containing the fem lemma in their title), direct association with The F-Word, a degree of neutrality but also a suggestion of queering and the queer (appropriate through reappropriation).

Whereas the G-lemma still sounds too clinical. Not suggesting things scientific automatically carry negative implications (one of the greater follies, in the Obrienaternal esteem, of some strands of radicalism). We are all too unhappily aware of phallogocentric aspects of medicine, women’s medicine in particular, and said unhappiness exacerbated depending on one’s location. Obrienatrix does, indeed, subscribe to Bad Science by RSS feed (and reads assorted sciency things) – and considers this not only not incompatible with feminism, but verily of Great Support to the Cause: against oppression, for liberation, and towards the Rule of Reason.

But she’s the one naming things here, and the naming of things has a poetic, allusive, associative, not to mention subjectively touchy-feely side. “Gyn” sounds cold to me. Plain and simple, and very feely. More that sort of icy speculum than Irigaray’s reappropriation, the warm fuzziness of speculation, or a favourite variety of writing, speculative fiction.

And yes, Obrienatrix also believes Reason is not incompatible with feminism: after all, we have the great example of Dame Raison. Double the impact here with Fortune’s wheel: redresser of wrongs – of sorts – but more crucially an independent, unpredictable, uncontrollable force for universal equilibrium::

Roman de la Rose, ms. Harley 4425 f. 57. British Library c/o their online Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts

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