A Feminist's Call for Anarchy

Marlee Jacocks Ball State University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Vanessa Rapatz Ball State University
While Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel The Dispossessed has been categorized as a science fiction and utopian novel, I argue that it should also be considered more specifically a feminist utopia. With influences from feminism and Marxism, Le Guin uses both emancipatory theories to create a distinct comparison between two political systems—anarchy and democracy—to ultimately reveal that anarchy is more conducive for feminism. The anarchic system of government provides women with more agency than a system based on capitalism, because women are free from class and gender oppression, thus making anarchy the most feminist form of political governing. While Marxism sets the foundation for seeking freedom from capitalism and class oppression, anarchy ultimately demonstrates how to reach freedom from both class and gender oppression. Theorists such as Lewis Call and Daniel Jaeckle help to define and understand the anarchy that is established in The Dispossessed. The distinct female characters in The Dispossessed demonstrate the clear differences in the anarchic state compared to the capitalist state. Additionally, I argue that The Dispossessed is a feminist text with the ultimate purpose of demonstrating how women can reach equality and ultimate agency in an anarchic state because of the example Le Guin provides. Finally, this paper considers the powerful role men can play in supporting feminism through the perspective of a male protagonist.
Competitive Paper--All Disciplines (includes an Oral Presentation)
Competitive Paper (includes an Oral Presentation)

When & Where

09:15 AM
Pharmacy & Health Sciences 106A