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Coming to LifePhilosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering$
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Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline R. Lundquist

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823244607

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823244607.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

The Birth of Sexual Difference

The Birth of Sexual Difference

A Feminist Response to Merleau-Ponty

(p.88) 4 The Birth of Sexual Difference
Coming to Life

Lisa Guenther

Fordham University Press

Merleau-Ponty often compares intersubjectivity to pregnancy and birth; either the other is reproduced from me like a child, or self and other are born together through a process of mutual divergence from a common flesh. In either case, Merleau-Ponty invokes birth as a metaphor without acknowledging the role of sexual difference; and when he examines birth as a concrete process, it is from the perspective of the embryo rather than the pregnant woman. This paper addresses the blind spot of sexual difference in Merleau-Ponty's work by developing suggestions in his own texts in dialogue with feminist philosophers of birth.

Keywords:   Maurice Merleau-Ponty, phenomenology, sexual difference, birth, pregnancy, flesh, chiasm, intersubjectivity, possibility, time

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