SAAP Annual Meeting 2014

Papers Proceedings »

Feminist and Insurrectionist Character Traits

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Insurrectionist ethics, as exposited by Leonard Harris, venerates character traits that are not typically considered virtuous. On this view, audacity, tenacity, aggressiveness, enmity, irreverence, and guile can be considered virtuous or appropriate character traits in particularly brutal or hegemonic contexts. These character traits seem diametrically opposed to conventional character traits, such as humility, restraint, serenity, compassion, impartiality, and forthrightness. Moreover, some would argue that an insurrectionist ethics reestablishes masculinist or patriarchal character traits that have historically been used to oppress and subjugate women, rendering it antithetical to a feminist ethics. In this paper, I argue that insurrectionist character traits are not necessarily antithetical to a feminist perspective, and that they are vital to those feminists who are faced with the task of confronting systemic brutality and entrenched hegemony.


Lee McBride    
The College of Wooster
United States


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