Women on the Verge and mainstream social science.
The main problem with mainstream social science is that it naturalizes capitalist and colonial social forms as “our society,” as “the world we live in.” Women’s experiential critique stands against this naturalization, which contradicts our intuition and diminishes possibilities for life itself. The naturalization of capitalist colonial and patriarchal society as the only viable model of collective human life leaves us in a state of fear and despair, for we know deeply that this is not possible, that it is wrong, that we are not-yet, that there has to be something more and better, that these alternatives are already real.
By normalizing the violence which is inherent in capitalist, colonial and patriarchal society, the social sciences confirm a (real) illusion: that reality is only what appears in front of us. For once the “not-yet” is eliminated from the horizon of possibility, scientists can only operate within the very partial and limited scope of either fantasy or probability. This creates self-limitation and self-repression in our views of the world.
Probability is not the same as possibility. Probability, paraphrasing Ernst Bloch, is something that can be expected, something that cannot be completely discarded. But the realm of possibility refers to things that are not-yet, things whose becoming lurk in the darkness of the present, ready to be activated, enacted, anticipated, made real. But we don’t know. We cannot be certain whether they will become in this time and place or not. Working to realize such possibilities, women on the verge are producing real change: we are throwing ourselves into future possibilities without fear, with hope, without parachutes. Risky? Yes. But worthy.