In one corner, Hugh Schwyzer defends Women's and Gender Studies degrees as the real thing; in another corner, Dr. Crazy bluntly declares that "Women's Studies suck," parts I and II. (Dan Green offers a cheer for the latter position.) See also a 2003 post from the late (er, blogwise) Invisible Adjunct on the term "herstory". Much of my own work looks, on the surface, like it ought to fit into the Women's Studies rubric. Except that it really doesn't. Many of my female religious novelists, for example, differ only slightly (if at all) from their male counterparts when it comes to theology, politics, and (sometimes) gender issues, let alone narrative form and literary language. In the aggregate, the dominant position of women in this particular subgenre is of genuine historical interest; on an individual level, it rarely explains much of anything actually expressed in the text. Obviously, there are exceptions to this generalization--men's religious novels have more swashbuckling and women's have more plucky girls, although even these exceptions have their own exceptions!--but I'd say that, on the whole, it's an accurate one. Similarly, one of my book's points is that it simply makes no historical sense whatsoever to argue that "women's history" = "narratives about women written by women, ideally with a feminist perspective," since, in terms of sheer tonnage, the historiography of women's history in Britain, America, and on the Continent tips towards male authors. To make matters worse, or, at least, more inconvenient, some of the most feminist Victorian writing on women's history comes from a very establishment man--Sir James Donaldson. And it's usually very difficult to tell "male" opinions from "female" opinions, especially given the--ah--liberal attitude to textual borrowing in popular literature. In other words, I seem to be spending an awful lot of time arguing that the author's gender tends not to matter very much when it comes to either form or content, although it may matter quite a bit when it comes to explaining why a given text exists. To my knowledge, other feminists don't find my approach objectionable--so far, quite the contrary--but I don't think my work fits usefully into any "consciousness-raising" or otherwise political project. And it certainly discourages approaches to "women's literature" that want to isolate it from something called "men's literature."
UPDATE: And yet, I think my work is absolutely indebted to the approach that it rejects, in the sense that earlier writers in women's studies allowed me to formulate many of my own questions. (My dissertation director once remarked that, in the 1970s, she had tried to write an article about Victorian women's histories, and couldn't think of any way to approach them; two decades of feminist scholarship had, in effect, made such texts "readable.") That I arrived at different answers seems to me to be a natural phenomenon of the scholarly cycle, as it were. I think this "scholarly cycle" also explains the ambivalence about Women's Studies that Dr. Crazy observes.