Jacques Derrida marked the importance of sexual difference to the relationship between Beast and Sovereign in the first seminar of that name and in Rogues, in a number of ways. Discussing Hobbes’ state of nature, in Beast and Sovereign Derrida briefly returned us to a point made by Carole Pateman and any number of feminist readers of Hobbes the mother in the state of nature must be no less the “arrant wolf” that Hobbes says man is to man. The seeming substitutability mentioned by Derrida has a long history in the tradition of those who argued for women’s rights. But if we try to speculate how one might answer the question unasked, we could return to the oddity noted by Carole Pateman and seemingly by Derrida in his discussion of Hobbes in Beast and Sovereign. Derrida mentions sexual difference in Rogues in the context of the difficulty he is describing of distinguishing between the good and the ills of democracy.
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