The Knowledge in our Bones: Standpoint Theory, Alternative Health and the Quantum Model of the Body
Second-wave feminism emerged from a practice - consciousness raising - which was grounded in embodied experience; this has been one of its strengths. Within the last few years, however, feminist theory has come up against some thorny problems relating to experience and essentialism. In attempting to avoid the traps created by essentialism, false universalism and biological reductionism, many feminists have enclosed the concept of experience within a grid of discourse. Taken to its logical extreme, this position leads to an epistemology which has been emptied of both embodied experience and active agency. It is, in fact, one expression of a wider idealism, which denies an independent reality to nature in general. The critiques of this perspective as politically disabling are telling; a new approach is needed.