Feminism is one of the most recent ideologies to emerge, although its
origins can be traced far back into history. We examine its historical
roots and identify and discuss the different forms of feminism that have
developed over the last two centuries. We then link feminism with other
ideologies and conclude with a critique and assessment of feminism in
the modern world
This book studies a distinctive brand of women's rights that emerged out of the Victorian Secularist movement, and looks at the lives and work of a number of female activists, whose renunciation of religion shaped their struggle for emancipation. Anti-religious or secular ideas were fundamental to the development of feminist thought, but have, until now, been almost entirely passed over in the historiography of the Victorian and Edwardian women's movement. In uncovering an important tradition of freethinking feminism, the book reveals an ongoing radical and free love current connecting Owenite feminism with the more ‘respectable’ post-1850 women's movement and the ‘New Women’ of the early twentieth century.
The Secularist movement was home to a
distinctively Freethinking brand of feminism, which viewed Christianity as
the primary cause of women’s oppression. Freethought ideology prompted
a re-definition of womanhood which could lead to far reaching and radical
suggestions for transforming woman’s role in society.
Secularists’ renunciation of religion necessarily entailed a rejection
of the notion of
This book makes the case for an inclusive form of socialist feminism that will
benefit both individuals and societies, and that puts multiply disadvantaged
women at its heart. It argues that developing a feminist vocabulary is a key
part of feminist politics, and it demystifies some key terms, including
patriarchy and intersectionality. The book’s longest chapter engages with fierce
disputes between some feminists and some trans women, and suggests possible
compromises and ways forward. It argues throughout that the analysis of gender
cannot be isolated from that of class or race, that patriarchy is inexorably
entangled with capitalism, and that the needs of most women will not be met in
an economy based on the pursuit of profit. In making these arguments, it
explains why capitalism is not meeting human needs and it highlights the flaws
in the ideologies that sustain it; it also shows how the assumptions of
neoliberalism are incompatible with anything other than a narrow, elitist form
of feminism that has little relevance for most women. Throughout, the book
asserts the social, economic and human importance of the unpaid caring and
domestic work that has been traditionally done by women, and the need to
redistribute this and value it properly. It concludes that the combination of
some policy trends, the increased presence of feminists in positions of
influence and a rise in all kinds of grassroots activism give grounds for
optimism about a future that could be both more feminist and more socialist.
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The end(s) of feminism(s)?
From Madonna to Ally McBeal
Defining terms: the feminine, feminist, postmodern feminism
In an overview of the field since the 1970s, the editors of Feminist
Television Criticism state that ‘feminist television criticism has not
adequately conceptualised its own meanings for feminism, but
instead has mirrored the “common sense” meanings of feminism
that circulate in both popular and academic cultures’. As they indicate, this
Nationalism and feminism
I remember that period as very, very rich. You share, you debate . . . We
were very young, very brazen . . . We talked about the issue of sexuality,
and within sexuality, the issue of masturbation . . . And we made posters,
and put them up in the neighbourhood. I’m amazed! The things we did!
[laughter]. (#10, b. 1957)
I think all the women in the nationalist left are feminists. And all the new
generations what are joining are feminist women. But I think we still
haven’t found the main point. This is unﬁnished business. (#16, b. 1958
Postfeminist Vampirism in Margaret Atwood‘s The Robber Bride
The article examines Margaret Atwood‘s The Robber Bride in terms of Gothic imagery and postfeminist politics. The novel depicts three characteristically second wave women whose lives are disrupted by Zenia, the embodiment of postfeminism. Zenia threatens the stability of the women and they respond to her with both loathing and desire, experiencing her as a vampire feeding on their lives. The Robber Bride connects the subversive power of Gothic to the multiple identities, transgressions and instabilities of postfeminism. Using a common second wave feminist psychoanalytic rereading of Gothic terror as fear of confinement, I suggest that Atwood‘s depiction of Zenia as a Gothic figure points to some concerns about second wave feminist politics. The location of Zenia as both Self and Other raises questions about postfeminisms situation as a reactionary backlash against feminism, and equally as a liberal politics that many late twentieth-century women were increasingly identifying with.
An Analysis of Cinenovas Management Committee Meeting Minutes,
Cinenova was relaunched in 1991 from the pre-existing womens distributor, Circles,
which had operated throughout the 1980s. In keeping with their founders feminist
politics, both Circles and Cinenova were run via a non-hierarchical management
structure and focused on the distribution, promotion and exhibition of films and
videos made by, for and about women. As the funding and economic climate became
harsher during the 1990s this organisational model was severely tested, as Cinenova‘s
workers were forced to try and survive on a more commercially viable basis. This
article uses Cinenova‘s management committee meeting minutes of 1991–97 to explore
how its management practices impacted on its operation and effectiveness.
). With this point in mind, it is worth noting that the title of this chapter is not intended to imply that feminism is somehow anterior to postcolonialism when speaking of ‘feminism and postcolonialism’. The two concepts are firmly hinged. Yet, the title also recognises that postcolonialism and feminism are sometimes seen to share tense relations with each other, and this chapter is concerned with the unfolding of these tensions. As we shall presently explore, feminists working out of different locations have also questioned the extent to which Western, or ‘First
Sa r a Ah me d
n my last post, I explored the question of fragility (Ahmed, 2014e). Behind
my exploration was a reposing of the question of response and responsibility: how can we respond to the histories that leave some bodies, some
relationships, more fragile than others? How can we face up to those histories of losing face?
We can be shattered by what we come up against.
And then we come up against it again.
We can be exhausted by what we come up against.
And then we come up against it again.
The question of