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Violent Femmes: Women as Spies in Popular Culture (Transformations)

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Continuum Volume 28, - Issue 2. Therese Davis Continuum Volume 28, - Issue 5. Slogans such as "workers of the world unite" turned into "women of the world unite" and key features like consciousness-raising and egalitarian consensus-based policies "were inspired by similar techniques used in China". Into this backdrop of world events, Simone de Beauvoir published The Second Sex in , which was translated into English in In the book, de Beauvoir put forward the idea that equality did not require women be masculine to become empowered.

By , de Beauvoir and Mead's works had been translated into Danish and became widely influential with feminists. As the women's suffrage movement emerged from the abolition movement , the Women's Liberation Movement grew out of the struggle for civil rights.

Though most groups operated independently—there were no national umbrella organizations—there were unifying philosophies of women participating in the movement. Challenging patriarchy and the hierarchical organization of society which defined women as subordinate in both public and private spheres, liberationists believed that women should be free to define their own individual identity as part of human society.

One of the reasons that women who supported the movement chose not to create a single approach to addressing the problem of women being treated as second-class citizens was that they did not want to foster an idea that anyone was an expert or that any one group or idea could address all of the societal problems women faced. Women's historical participation in the world was virtually unknown, even to trained historians. Even the fact that women had been denied the vote was something few university students were aware of in the era.

Thousands of adherents joined the movement which began in the United States [61] and spread to Canada and Mexico. Key components of the movement were consciousness-raising sessions aimed at politicizing personal issues, [90] [91] small group and limited organizational structure [92] and a focus on changing societal perception rather than reforming legislation.

Since women's inequality within their employment, family and society were commonly experienced by all women, separation meant unity of purpose to evaluate their second-class status. Organizations were loosely organized, without a hierarchical power structure and favored all-women participation to eliminate defining women or their autonomy by their association with men.

Elections as Popular Culture in Asia

Advocating public self-expression by participating in protests and sit-ins, liberationists demonstrated against discriminatory hiring and wage practices in Canada, [] while in the US liberationists protested the Miss America Beauty Pageant for objectifying women. Increasingly mainstream media portrayed liberationists as man-haters or deranged outcasts. By the mids, the Women's Liberation Movement had been effective in changing the worldwide perception of women, bringing sexism to light and moving reformists far to the left in their policy aims for women, [] but in the haste to distance themselves from the more radical elements, liberal feminists attempted to erase their success and rebrand the movement as the Women's Movement.


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  6. Women's liberation movement.

By the s, the movement had spread to Asia with Women's Liberation organizations forming in Japan in In Singapore and other Asian countries, conscious effort was made to distinguish their movement from decadent, " free sex " Western feminist ideals, [] [] [] while simultaneously addressing issues that were experienced worldwide by women. In India, the struggle for women's autonomy was rarely separated from the struggle against the caste system [] and in Israel, though their movement more closely resembled the WLM in the US and Europe, the oppression of Palestinian women was a focal area.

In Europe, the women's liberation movement started in the late s and continued through the s. Inspired by events in North America and triggered by the growing presence of women in the labour market, the movement soon gained momentum in Britain and the Scandinavian countries. There were robust Women's Liberation movements in Western European countries, including developments in Greece, Portugal and Spain, which in the period were emerging from dictatorships.

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Reacting on two killings of women in the streets,on the 1st of March women in West Berlin started demonstrating at night - later to be repeated as Walpurgis Night every year on May Day eve. In almost all Western European countries liberationists fought for elimination of barriers to free and unrestricted access to contraception and abortion. Throughout the period, publishing was crucial for disseminating the theory and ideas of liberation and other feminist schools of thought.

In West Germany a bookdistribution run by lesbians snowballed feminist knowledge from on. Books like Die Klosterschule The Convent School, by Barbara Frischmuth , which evaluated patriarchy in the parochial schools of Austria, [] The Female Eunuch Paladin, by Germaine Greer and The Descent of Woman by Welsh author and feminist Elaine Morgan , brought women into the movement who thought that their lives differed from those of women in large urban settings where the movement originated.

Women's liberation movement

As the idea of women's autonomy gained mainstream approval, [] governments and more reformist minded women's groups adopted liberationists' ideas and began incorporating them into compromise solutions. The first organizations were formed in Sydney in , [] and by had reached Adelaide and Melbourne , [] as well as Wellington and Auckland.

Involved in public protests, liberationists demonstrated at beauty pageants to protest women's objectification, [] [] and invaded male-only pubs. The FBI kept records on numerous participants in the WLM as well as spying on them and infiltrating their organizations. Having lived in a communal housing project or been affiliated with youth movements made liberationists targets and their meeting places were searched and materials were confiscated. The Women's Liberation Movement created a global awareness of patriarchy and sexism.

They launched women's studies programs and publishing houses to ensure that a more culturally comprehensive history of the complex nature of society was developed. In an effort to distance themselves from the politics and ideas of women in the Liberation Movement, as well as the personal politics which emerged, many second-wave feminists distanced themselves from the early movement.

Meaghan Morris , an Australian scholar of popular culture stated that later feminists could not associate themselves with the ideas and politics of the period and maintain their respect. The philosophy practiced by liberationists assumed a global sisterhood of support working to eliminate inequality without acknowledging that women were not united; other factors, such as age, class, ethnicity, and opportunity or lack thereof created spheres wherein women's interests diverged, and some women felt underrepresented by the WLM. They made changes in their lives to address their individual needs and social arrangements, but were unwilling to take action on issues that might threaten their socio-economic status.

see

Preliminary Programme | ESSHC

Combating sexism had an internal component, whereby one could change the basic power structures within family units and personal spheres to eliminate the inequality. Class struggle and the fight against racism are solely external challenges, requiring public action to eradicate inequality.


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  • There was criticism of the movement not only from factions within the movement itself, [53] [54] but from outsiders, like Hugh Hefner , Playboy founder, who launched a campaign to expose all the "highly irrational, emotional, kookie trends" of feminism in an effort to tear apart feminist ideas that were "unalterably opposed to the romantic boy-girl society" promoted by his magazine. Instead, social constructs and the difficulty of removing systems which had long served their purpose exploited both men and women.

    To many women activists in the American Indian Movement , black Civil Rights Movement, Chicana Movement , as well as Asians and other minorities, the activities of the primarily white, middle-class women in the Women's Liberation Movement were focused specifically on sex-based violence and the social construction of gender as a tool of sex-based oppression.

    By evaluating all economic, socio-cultural, and political issues through the lens of sexism without pairing it with racism and classism, liberationists often poorly represented women of color in their analyses. Some did not see the intrinsic connection between the liberation of women and the liberation of men that was advocated for by the Women's Liberation Movement and felt that feminists did not care about the inequalities suffered by men; they felt that the liberation of women without the liberation of men from policies that keep men of color from obtaining jobs and limit their civil rights, further preventing them from being able to protect their families, neither improved humanity as a whole nor improved the plight experienced by families.

    Regarding the "sex-positive" sect that broke away from the women's liberation movement, extending personal freedom to sexual freedom, the meaning of being free to have relations with whoever one wanted, was lost on black women who had been sexually assaulted and raped with impunity for centuries [98] or Native Women who were routinely sterilized. For example, many liberationists rejected the performance of femininity as a positive behavior, which meant that white lesbians who actively chose to perform femininity had to decide between their desire to be feminine-presenting and their rejection of sexual objectification.

    Jackie Anderson, an activist and philosopher, observed that in the black lesbian community being able to dress up made them feel confident because during the work week, black women had to conform to dress codes imposed upon them. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Women's liberation movement Part of Second-wave feminism Scene from a women's liberation protest. Women's suffrage Muslim countries US.