In this paper I plan to sketch some preliminary ideas about a form of othering that involves misogynistic thinking. I shall suggest that this form of thinking is linked to the fear of woman founded in the dread of the maternal. The concept of othering captures conscious and unconscious processes whereby the other is objectified and positioned as different from ourselves. The other’s humanity is not recognised, and unrecognised negative aspects of the self are projected onto the other. Over 70 years ago, Simone de Beauvoir asked her incisive question: why is woman Other? This question continues to cut to the heart of the problem of women’s otherness and their disadvantaged location in the binary system of Western thought.
Chaired by Louise Braddock; the paper will be followed by short comments and discussion from two other contributors: Katie Fleming (QMUL) and Holly High (Deakin University).