Critiques, Emancipation, and the postmodern

Let me start of by saying that the name Benhabib is by the far the most fun last name to say in your head. Now on to more relevant endeavors.

Benhabib raises the question of a theory's ability to critique that which it also helps to define (p.17) Postmodernsim is placed in the interesting position of defining the time period, but at the same time posing a through critique of it. She later glances over her answer; that to critique anything one must somehow be "outside the walls looking in". I think that it's possible for a theory to defines a time period, but something "outside the walls" cannot critique someone within the walls. A person can only critique that which he or she is experiencing, the cultural norms of society at any given time prevent anyone from truly understand the rationale of the time from their time. Is that a viable extrapolation?

On P.24 Benahabib begins to relate postmodernism to feminism and both theories abilities to emancipate. She reaches the conclusion, as I understand it, that these theories have an uneasy alliance, at best, because postmodernism does not have any emancipatory properties. I don't remember who said it but the line went something along the lines of "Americans don't find revolution in art" and postmodern, at its core, is a form of art. You can look to postmodernism to find out what isn't working with society, but you can't look to it for the answer to societies problems. Feminism is attempting to find a utopia, or an answer to problem. Associatingcrit an action to postmodernism isn't even possible, and thats why feminism as an uneasy alliance at best.