By Roger Célestin, Eliane DalMolin, Isabelle de Courtivron
This quantity, a set of essays by means of a couple of high-profile personalities operating in philosophy, literature, sociology, cinema, theatre, journalism, and politics, covers a host a of modern and an important advancements within the box of French Feminisms that experience made a reassessment invaluable. past French Feminisms proposes to reply to the query: what's new in French Feminism at the start of the twenty-first century? The essays mirror the shift from the theoretical and philosophical ways that characterised feminism two decades in the past, to the extra social and political questions of this present day. issues contain: the 'parité' and PACS debates, the France-USA discussion, the 'multicultural' concerns, and the recent tendencies in literature and movie by means of women.
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Extra info for Beyond French Feminisms: Debates on Women, Politics, and Culture in France, 1981–2001
PaCS and parité initially appeared as radically different debates. One focused on gay and lesbian rights, the other on women’s issues. The former had to do with private life, the latter with the public sphere. However, both oppositions were soon to collapse. On the one hand, “sexual difference” could be invoked as an argument while debating both sexuality and gender—both gay and lesbian rights and women’s issues. On the other hand, whereas PaCS involves the public recognition of private arrangements, the new political participation of women encouraged by parité has domestic consequences.
This may signal the end of what I have suggested calling l’épouvantail américain (the American scarecrow)—at least for minority issues. The other consequence is more specific. It has to do with the revival of feminism in France, at the same time as gay and lesbian issues found a new prominence—say, from the Chiennes de garde to Act-Up. Two pessimistic readings prevailed during the debates. First, parité exacerbated tensions among feminists, between those who supported and those opposed the reform.
We would do well to enumerate all the instances in which the best-intentioned men (symbolic violence does not operate in the register of conscious intent) engage in discriminatory acts: excluding women from positions of authority without even 26 PIERRE BOURDIEU questioning their action; trivializing their claims and demands as mere whims, which a conciliatory word or a pat on the cheek is supposed to fix, and so on. There are so many infinitesimal, unconscious “choices,” which, taken together, make profoundly unfair the situation to which women everywhere are reduced.