Feminist Theory part II


1)  “Sisterhood is global?

During the 2nd wave movement of the 1960s the attempt to create a national feminist movement brought differences between groups into greater focus.

a. The National Organization for Women, for example, initially did not want to take on lesbian rights issues because they worried about stereotypes of “manhaters.” Only protests of the members changed this position.

b. African American women pointed out that while the primary concerns of white middle class women might be the “glass ceiling” preventing them from becoming CEOs, that meant little to the African Americans who could only find employment washing their floors.

c. International activists found themselves in similar situations; eg some Islamic feminists saw American critiques as unconsciously reproducing anti-Arabic sentiment. For example, the veil is not just a tool of patriarchical control; it is complexly coded, constantly reinvented, sometimes used in pro-feminist demonstrations in the middle east.


Anti-essentialist Theory

During the 1970s attempts to unify feminists under a singular “essence” included organic romanticism, Marxist feminism, and liberal feminism. These eventually gave way to new efforts to create an anti-essentialist theory that could allow collaborations without reducing everyone to a single political theory.