Carter‘s fiction sits uneasily in relation to both Gothic and feminist discourses, especially as they converge through the category of the ‘female Gothic’. Owing to her interest in pornography and her engagement with the sexual/textual violence of specifically ‘male Gothic’ scripts – for example, the Gothic scenarios of Sade, Poe, Hoffmann, Baudelaire and Stoker – Carter‘s Gothic heroines have frequently been censured as little more than objects of sadistic male desires by feminist critics. This article re-reads Carter‘s sexual/textual violations – her defiance of dominant feminist and Gothic categories and categorisations – through the problematic of (post-)feminist discourse and, especially, the tension between ‘victim’ and ‘power’ feminisms as prefigured in her own (Gothic) treatise on female sexual identity, The Sadeian Woman (1979). Mapping the trajectory of her Gothic heroine from Ghislaine in Shadow Dance (1966) to Fevvers in Nights at the Circus (1984), it re-contextualises Carters engagements with the Gothic as a dialogue with both the female Gothic and feminist discourse.
-Africanism, the suffragettes, Black Power, feminism, gay and
lesbian liberation, and so on – all, in one way or another, drew on
informal and formal adult education as a means to inspire commitment
to their cause and develop their critiques of unequal social relations.
This would be, however, only one piece of the story. For many workingclass and migrant men and women, it was children and young people
who inspired the need for social change, and correspondingly, for
(Ruggles, 2009). At any given time, peoples’ preference for a stemfamily system of inheritance will not necessarily give rise to many households with two married couples residing together. Second, the focus on
households ignores the extent to which family dynamics, including everyday forms of social support and inheritance practices, were embedded
in kinship circles that incorporated multiple households (Gray, 2014).
GRAY PRINT.indd 35
Part I: Questioning the modern family
Questions of power: feminism and household economics
During the 1970s