Feminist theories of our social and political world retain their relevance in a
contemporary context of persistent gender inequality. An exploration of how
gender inequality impacts upon social work practice is necessary when we consider
that women are more likely, for instance, to be in poverty (IFSW, 2012) and to
be the focus of social work interventions and surveillance (Morriss, 2018).
Feminist theory and practice has often started with the ‘always place women
first’ approach (Featherstone, 2001). However, an
‘I’m a feminist … it’s important, but some [women] need it more than others. Some cultures are already three quarters of the way there … those who have been brought up white, middle class, generally will be, I guess, educated and feminist as a result. But there are other cultures and classes, so, Middle Eastern, Asian, where education isn’t that widespread and old belief systems are in power and have a huge influence on how society runs. I guess yeah, those groups, they need feminism more.’
(Mia, 27, middle-class, Anglo-Indian, GP, London, February 2014
Mary Astell (1668–1731), Sophia and
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759–97)
The same socio-economic forces that propelled the debates over men’s rights at
such high speed during the 17th and 18th centuries also ushered in, haltingly
and grudgingly, the debates over women’s rights – the ‘woman question’, as it
was then known.
The rising economic affluence, the growth of secular debates, the spread of
education among the middle classes, increased urbanisation and the widening
of geographical horizons provided the social environment for a few
ways. It guards against heightened state control over and restriction of access to abortion, but its paternalistic logic undermines the notion of a ‘right to choose’ and represents women as incapable of responsibly exercising this right.
Feminism in the debate
Parliamentary feminism during this time comprised a radical contestation of gender regimes in Parliament and beyond, but was also committed to defence of the Abortion Act 1967 and its underpinning principles. Steering a course between being overly celebratory and overly pessimistic, this section shows
Gender identities and feminism
As was explored in the previous chapter, participants in the research on
which this book draws used a variety of terms to describe their gender
identity. While some participants identified as ‘man’ or ‘woman’, most
used the prefix of ‘trans’ before gender nouns, or employed the terms
FtM or MtF to articulate the ways in which their gender identities
were distinct. This chapter further develops previous discussions of
gendered understanding by exploring participants’ discussions of the
relationship between transgender
In Feminism Without Borders , Chandra Talpade Mohanty makes the call to challenge the dominance of Western feminisms, and build autonomous feminist communities that are geographically, historically and culturally based. 1 Anti-racist feminisms represent a diverse, global set of movements that have variously sought to identify and challenge the interlocking systems of power that undergird our social and political institutions. 2 Some of the theories cited in this chapter were developed decades ago and have been deconstructed and reconstructed many times over
This ground-breaking collection interrogates protest camps as sites of gendered politics and feminist activism.
Drawing on case studies that range from Cold War women-only peace camps to more recent mixed-gender examples from around the world, diverse contributors reflect on the recurrence of gendered, racialised and heteronormative structures in protest camps, and their potency and politics as feminist spaces.
While developing an intersectional analysis of the possibilities and limitations of protest camps, this book also tells new and inspiring stories of feminist organising and agency. It will appeal to feminist theorists and activists, as well as to social movement scholars.
Andrea Brady’s poem, written in solidarity with activists protecting Gezi Park in Istanbul. While protest camps have been much documented and analysed, as we will show later, this book seeks to explore a dimension that been neglected in the academic literature. It asks: how do the politics of gender intersect with other social identities and power dynamics to shape protest camps? What happens when feminists are involved in protest camps or set up their own? How can contemporary feminism help us see afresh both the limitations and the potential of the protest camp form
a domestic space is transformed when it moves to the Australian desert (Bartlett, Chapter 12 ), the Brazilian countryside (Motta et al, Chapter 11 ), or a logging site on Vancouver Island (Moore, Chapter 13 ). The specificities of every region and their local politics in relation to globalisation impacts what the camps look like, how they are organised and how they intersect with gender and feminism (see also Eschle, 2017 ). This contextual specificity has temporal as well as geopolitical dimensions, with both camps and gender politics differing over time as
Young women’s attitudes towards
feminism and gender equality
For young Scandinavian women, certain central elements in the Scandinavian
welfare states have been part of their upbringing – for example, equal opportunity
policy and the role of public provision in day-care institutions – and they therefore
expect equal citizenship rights for men and women. Gender and equality have been
hotly debated topics throughout the lifetime of young Scandinavian women.
Although the young generation did not live through the female