Having a Postmodernist Turn or Postmodernist Angst: A Disorder Experienced by an Author Who is Not Yet Dead or Even Close to It
There is a defiant spirit in my title to this chapter. However, I don’t feel defiant and I do feel more close to death than I’d like to. I’m not dying-at least not ‘by chocolate’ unfortunately-but I do feel a certain political unease, wariness and weariness; if not a sense of hopelessness then at least a reduced optimism with regard to feminism in and maybe beyond education.1 I am disturbed but not surprised at the recent backlash against feminism in Australian education and health systems (this is most evident in the rise of the boys’ and the men’s rights movements2), but I am also unsettled, agitated and anxious about some of the current directions in feminism in education and I want to publish my anxieties and see if others share them.3 I say I am anxious, others say I am paranoid. I say there is a range of reasons to be both and others say some of these reasons are more my problem than feminism’s. I say maybe that is true, but let me at least express my anxieties and see if they strike a chord-publish and be damned. Others say if you do publish, you will be damned; you will experience a feminist backlash. Yet others say that, in these current backlash times, I should defend feminism, not criticize it. They say that feminists, ‘progressive educators’ (whatever that means) and ‘Left academics’ (whatever that means) should promote feminist (and other) worthy causes, and that criticism should be directed particularly at those who detract from, and undermine, such causes and who benefit most from current inequitable social and educational arrangements.