State University of New York (SUNY)
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1998
Elon, North Carolina, United States of America
  •  420
  •  236
    In 1977, Michel Foucault suggested that legal approaches to rape define it as merely an act of violence, not of sexuality, and therefore not distinct from other types of assaults. I argue that rape can not be considered merely an act of violence because it is instrumental in the construction of the distinctly feminine body. Insofar as the threat of rape is ineluctably, although not determinately, associated with the development of feminine bodily comportment, rape itself holds a host of bodily a…Read more
  •  170
    Feminist Pleasure and Feminine Beautification
    Hypatia 18 (4): 42-64. 2003.
    This paper explores the conditions under which feminine beautification constitutes a feminist practice. Distinguishing between the process and product of beautification allows us to isolate those aesthetic, interapos;Subjective, and embodied elements that empower rather than disempower women. The empowering characteristics of beautification, however, are difficult and perhaps impossible to represent in a sexist context; therefore, while beautifying may be a positive experience for women, being v…Read more
  •  100
    Rethinking Rape
    Cornell University Press. 2001.
    Rape, claims Ann J. Cahill, affects not only those women who are raped, but all women who experience their bodies as rapable and adjust their actions and self-images accordingly. Rethinking Rape counters legal and feminist definitions of rape as mere assault and decisively emphasizes the centrality of the body and sexuality in a crime which plays a crucial role in the continuing oppression of women.
  •  96
    Recognition, Desire, and Unjust Sex
    Hypatia 29 (2): 303-319. 2014.
    In this article I will revisit the question of what I term the continuum of heteronormative sexual interactions, that is, the idea that purportedly ethically acceptable heterosexual interactions are conceptually, ethically, and politically associated with instances of sexual violence. Spurred by recent work by psychologist Nicola , I conclude that some of my earlier critiques of Catharine MacKinnon's theoretical linkages between sexual violence and normative heterosex are wanting. In addition, n…Read more
  •  96
    Unjust Sex vs. Rape
    Hypatia 31 (4): 746-761. 2016.
    This article returns to a philosophical conundrum that has troubled feminist theory since the topic of sexual violence has been taken seriously, what I call the problem of the “heteronormative sexual continuum”: how sexual assault and hegemonic heterosex are conceptually and politically related. I continue my response to the work of Nicola Gavey, who has argued for the existence of a “gray area” of sexual interactions that are ethically questionable without rising to the category of sexual assau…Read more
  •  85
    In this paper, we offer a method of teaching argumentation that consists of students working through a series of cumulative, progressive steps at their own individual pace—a method inspired by martial arts pedagogy. We ground the pedagogy in two key concepts from the scholarship of teaching and learning: “deliberate practice” and “deep approaches to learning.” The step-by-step method, as well as the challenges it presents, is explained in detail. We also suggest ways that this method might be ad…Read more
  •  80
    In Defense of Self-Defense
    Philosophical Papers 38 (3): 363-380. 2009.
    Some feminist theorists have argued that emphasizing women's self-defense mistakenly emphasizes women's behavior and choices rather than male aggression as a cause of sexual violence. I argue here that such critiques of self-defense are misguided, and do not sufficiently take into account the ways in which feminist self-defense courses can constitute embodied transformations of the meanings of femininity and rape. While certainly not sufficient to counter a rape culture by themselves, self-defen…Read more
  •  44
    With its implicit vilification of materiality, the notion of objectification has failed to produce a coherent and effective ethical analysis of heterosexual sex work. The concept of derivatization, grounded in an Irigarayan model of embodied intersubjectivity, is more effective. However, queer sex work poses new and different ethical challenges. This paper argues that although queer sex work can entail both objectification and derivatization, the former is not ethically objectionable, and the la…Read more
  •  32
    Continental feminism
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
  •  28
    On Feminist Ethics and Politics
    Teaching Philosophy 24 (2): 178-181. 2001.
  •  28
    The Continental Feminism Reader (edited book)
    Rowman & Littlefield. 2003.
  •  25
    Should Feminists Defend Self-Defense?
    International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 9 (2): 172-182. 2016.
    —Grayson Hunt1In 2015, I visited Lake Cumberland in Kentucky for a day of boating and swimming with friends. At one end of the lake was an amazing waterfall. As I was swimming near it, I looked up and saw a man thirty feet above in the bushes on top of the falls. He waved. I waved back. Only he wasn’t boating; he was just standing there. So I stared at him, wondering what he was doing up there. Then I realized he was masturbating. Stunned, I turned away to swim back to the boat, and I could feel…Read more
  •  12
    Alcoff’s Rape and Resistance : A Précis
    Philosophical Studies 177 (2): 289-296. 2020.
    This article summarizes Linda Martin Alcoff's Rape and Resistance. Alcoff's analysis centers on a political and philosophical defense of the need to recognize the complexity of both the phenomenon of sexual assault and the various political attempts to counter it. Such complexity extends to the process of describing an experience of sexual assault, which Alcoff argues is always shaped by a multitude of political and social discourses. Alcoff's Foucauldian analysis results in an innovative descri…Read more
  •  12
    Vocal Politics
    philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism 10 (1): 71-94. 2020.
    Feminist theory has produced a robust literature on embodiment that explores phenomena such as maternity, mobility, ability, and aging. However, the field has produced surprisingly few analyses of the bodily phenomenon of voice; references to voice in the context of critical theory are almost entirely metaphorical in nature, a relegation that obscures the philosophical relevance of voice as embodied phenomenon. Using insights garnered from the fields of sound studies and musicology, I argue that…Read more
  •  11
    Bearing the Brunt of Structural Inequality: Ontological Labor in the Academy
    with Ruthanne Crapo and Melissa Jacquart
    Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 6 (1). 2020.
    Empirical data show that members of underrepresented and historically marginalized groups in academia undertake many forms of undervalued or unnoticed labor. While the data help to identify that this labor exists, they do not provide a thick description of what the experience is like, nor do they offer a framework for understanding the different kinds of invisible labor that are being undertaken. We identify and analyze a distinct, undervalued, and invisible labor that the data have left unnamed…Read more
  •  9
    Miscarriage and Intercorporeality
    Journal of Social Philosophy 46 (1): 44-58. 2015.
  •  5
    Overcoming Objectification
    Routledge. 2011.
    Objectification is a foundational concept in feminist theory, used to analyze such disparate social phenomena as sex work, representation of women's bodies, and sexual harassment. However, there has been an increasing trend among scholars of rejecting and re-evaluating the philosophical assumptions which underpin it. In this work, Cahill suggests an abandonment of the notion of objectification, on the basis of its dependence on a Kantian ideal of personhood. Such an ideal fails to recognize suff…Read more
  •  1
    French Feminists (edited book)
    Routledge. 2007.
    Although at times criticized for its philosophical density, French cultural theory remains a flourishing, if highly contested, area of academic study. Four feminist thinkers in this tradition continue to be especially prominent: Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva, Hélène Cixous, and Luce Irigaray. This new collection from Routledge gathers together the very best secondary literature on these thinkers to provide an indispensable conspectus of their works. Each of the four thinkers is represented …Read more
  •  1
    Rethinking Rape: Implications of Embodiment
    Dissertation, State University of New York at Stony Brook. 1998.
    Previous attempts to understand rape have insufficiently described the extent of the effects of rape and the threat of rape in women's lives insofar as they do not address rape's complex bodily meanings. Using the insights of contemporary feminist theories of the body, which at once emphasize the fluid, indeterminate nature of the body and approach the subject as fundamentally embodied, I interpret rape as an embodied, sexually marked experience, one whose very pervasiveness serves as an essenti…Read more