I have said that the “singular,” as it combats the universal-particular binary opposition, is not an individual, a person, an agent; multiplicity is not multitude. If, however, we are thinking of potential agents, when s/he is not publicly empowered to put aside difference and self-synecdochize to form collectivity, the group will take difference itself as its synecdochic element. Difference slides into “culture,” often indistinguishable from “religion.” And then the institution that provides agency is reproductive heteronormativity (RHN). It is the broadest and oldest global institution. You see now why just writing about women does not solve the problem of the gendered subaltern . . .

From An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (Harvard University Press, page 437) by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, University Professor at Columbia University.

 

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 Number 7, on page 3
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