A few things seem pretty clear to me at this point in my short study of feminist philosophy... (i.e. they could and probably will change... )
1) Finding any one thing feminist philosophers agree upon is rare. I think they'd all agree that traditional philosophy was done by men and tended to marginalize women in some ways -- beyond that there seems to be no common ground.
2) I think that all well-functioning people do something that is roughly thinking and nearly all of them also reason in some ways. This includes both men and women in about equal proportions.
3) There are a substantial and influential cohort of philosophers who are also feminists that say 'reason' is corrupt because, certainly historically and arguably currently, female points of view are excluded from the class of the reasonable.
4) There are two implications the historical exclusion of feminine perspectives a) views of what is 'reasonable' have been (and are??) used as the basis for oppressive actions, and b) The way in which science is (has been??) done has been harmed.
5) Many influential feminist philosophers conclude that the concept of rationality is so off-kilter that it must be discarded.
Given the above... My quandry....
It may be the case that I have been successuflly brainwashed by the patriarchy -- but it seems as if my thinking process is, essentially, reasoning. According to some versions of feminist epistemology, this makes me male -- or, perhaps tainted by the maleness of my philosophical background -- or, something. I sure feel female -- every day.
What I don't understand, perhaps because I'm a 3rd generation feminist, is how some feminist philosophers can justify elimination of rationality as a basis for knowledge? (It isn' completely clear to me that they do this -- but it does seem as much right now...) They do this in the same basic move as they eliminate the possibility of an objective point of view. While I don't agree with the former move, I do agree with the latter. If the point of feminist thought is to promote a plurality of views, isn't it the case that the view of knowledge based on reason ought to be valued along with kinds of views?
Also -- something I don't understand about sex and gender....
Isn't it the case that, in general, biology provides the foundation for the social constructions of gender?
If this is the case, and if it is the case that there are significantly fewer women in math and science occupations, then shouldn't science seek to understand why? Isn't it possible that, at the points girls and boys learn math and science concepts, their brains are different? If this is the case, and if brain science in education has any validity, then shouldn't boys and girls be taught math and science in different ways -- i.e. in ways that maximize learning in both sexes/genders?
I may be wrong, but isn't this kind of what Larry Summers (former Harvard President) was getting at? Granted, he may have framed the question in a manner unacceptable to most feminists, but would he have had any less of a hassle had his question been properly framed?
I'm still thinking about this -- and would love your thoughts.