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(en) France, Alternative Libertair #222 - The Dico antipatriarcat Elisa: What is feminism? (fr) [machine translation]

Date Sat, 15 Dec 2012 12:55:36 +0200

The Dico antipatriarcat Elisa: What is feminism?
Feminism is a movement that developed in the nineteenth century, for equal rights between men and women (right to work, to vote, to education, control of their bodies ...) and whose contours theoretical current, although different, are largely from the Women's Liberation Movement (WLM) of the 1970s. It challenges both patriarchy (political and economic system based on the exploitation of women by men) and sexism (which justifies inequalities by combining a set of prejudices to every kind of innate qualities and defects). Therefore, beyond the political, economic and social feminists also raise the issue of domestic and sexual exploitation, saying that "the personal is political."

But this movement knows from the outset a very wide variety of analysis and strategy. Should denounce social conditioning, or upgrade the roles of women, hitherto denigrated or invisible (the second position of feminism finally broke ranks)? What is the relationship between the feminist struggle and the struggle against capitalism? If feminism "liberal" simply assert the equality of women before the law, others also raise the question of economic exploitation.

But for feminist class struggle, women's issues are consequences of capitalism, radical feminists denounce specific oppression. The place of men in this struggle also poses question. If the non-mixing has often been used to allow self-organization of women to the bad faith of the men who accused him of dividing the proletariat radical lesbianism pushed to its climax. More recently, the pro-sex feminism has challenged the anti-prostitution and anti-pornography movement largely denouncing him about the commodification of sexuality.

Also, many issues have evolved. Until the right to vote in 1944, the main demands included equal rights. After May 68, the perpetuation of relations of domination in the struggles made to realize that the oppression of women was not soluble anti-capitalism. The MLF was born and the willingness of autonomous struggle and led the fight to free disposal of their bodies by women (abortion rights, the fight against rape and violence). Since the 1980s, the movement has continued to evolve: consideration of racism in the oppression of minority women, over identity questions (queer movement). Today, the media suggest that feminism has no raison d'être. But social inequalities are very real: part-time, double day, precariousness and generally lower wages. The crisis may not fix things. And closures abortion centers remind us that without a constant struggle, patriarchy could soon challenge the past victories.
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