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The Different Faces of a Celebration

The Greek Course of International Women's Day, 1924–2010

Angelika Psarra

This article examines the history of International Women's Day (IWD) in Greece from its first celebration in 1924 until 2010. IWD was introduced in Greece by the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) and remained a communist ritual for fifty years. After the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974, the anniversary gradually acquired a wide acceptance and has since been adopted by feminist groups and organizations, trade unions, and parties from the entire political spectrum. The article follows the transformations of the celebration, explores its nebulous genealogy and the myths about its origins, and discusses its impressive ability to survive in diverse socio-political contexts.

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Chiara Bonfiglioli

The Cold War era has been mainly represented as a period of gender conservatism in feminist literature, and communist women in Eastern and Western Europe have been often described as manipulated or deprived of agency due to their lack of autonomy from Communist Party politics. On the basis of archival sources and autobiographies, this article explores the Cold War activities of a women's organization founded in Yugoslavia during the Second World War: the Antifašistički Front Žena (Antifascist Women's Front, or AFŽ). The article describes the activities of the AFŽ from its creation until its dissolution in 1953, focusing on its campaigns for women's political, economic, and social rights in the postwar and early Cold War period. By engaging with the pioneering work of Zagreb feminist historian Lydia Sklevicky and with new archival sources, the article aims to shed light on women's political and social agency in Cold War times.

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On the Interrelation of Production and Reproduction

The Analytical Contribution of Marxist-feminism

Matthew J. Smetona

Contemporary social and political theorists generally recognise that Marx and Engels’ critical analysis of capitalist society centres on the production of value through the production of things. However, what is often unrecognised in considerations of Marx and Engels is how their analysis is based on the interrelation of production and reproduction. Nevertheless, the implications of this interrelation for feminist critique are explored in the writings of Marx and Engels only tangentially. These implications are developed from Marx’s analysis by Leopoldina Fortunati and Silvia Federici into a singular synthesis of the Marxist and feminist modes of critique. This development deserves greater recognition, and this essay will seek to articulate how the social implications of this interrelation (1) are expressed to a limited extent in the classical texts of Marxism and (2) are developed by Fortunati and Federici into the analytic framework of social reproduction as the core of Marxist-feminist revolutionary struggle.

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Sex and Death in Quebec

Female AutobioBD and Julie Doucet's Changements d'adresses

Catriona MacLeod

In comparison to the U.S. market, the trend for autobiographical sequential art arrived late within the history of the francophone bande dessinée. Its rising popularity throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium coincided, and to an extent connected, with another belated development in the French-language industry however: that of the growing presence of the female artist. This article considers the strong presence of life narratives in bandes dessinées created by women, before presenting a case-study examining the manipulation of the medium to an autobiographical end in Québécoise artist Julie Doucet's 1998 Changements d'adresses ['Changes of Addresses']. It considers how, in this coming-of-age narrative set first in Montreal and then New York, Doucet utilises the formal specificity of the bande dessinée to emphasise both the fragmentation and then reintegration of her hybrid enunciating instances. It further examines Doucet's usage of the life-narrative bande dessinée to oppose her representation from that of the disruptive male figures in her life, whose sexual presence in her personal evolution is often connected to images of dysfunction and death, finally suggesting via this examination of Julie Doucet and Changements d'adresses the particular suitability of female-created life narratives to feminist reappropriations of the francophone bande dessinée.

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Féministes et républicaines

Parcours de femmes à l’origine du CNFF (1880–1901)

Yolande Cohen

This article aims to show that the foundation in 1901 of one of the most prominent French feminist associations, the Conseil national des femmes françaises (CNFF), was the result of the encounter between republican and feminist activist networks. Studying the trajectories of the CNFF’s pioneers, using biographical and archival sources, permits us to better evaluate the influences of free-thinkers, freemasons, and liberal Protestants on the movement. The author shows that these networks, which came together in the fight for the abolition of the regulation on prostitution, were at the heart of first wave feminist struggles for gender equality and the democratization of the Third Republic. Their intervention in the public sphere, especially in this movement, led to an unexpected interplay between feminists and republicans. This feminist moment must also be understood as a republican moment.

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William D. Irvine

Scholars of Third Republic France have long assumed that the political spectrum was divided into a readily identifiable Right and Left, adhering to mutually exclusive positions. But this comfortable political taxonomy could, at times, to violence to political reality. The Right could at some periods in the history of the Third Republic be aggressively nationalistic; at other times it could be positively irenic. The Left was often pacifist, but not always and there were moments when it, or some fraction of it, could be quite bellicose. Neither anti-Semitism nor racism in general were the exclusive province of the Right. On critical issues, the Left could be more refractory to women's rights than was the Right. French fascism claimed to be neither right nor left and at least some French fascist movements could list as many former members of the Left among its leaders as former members of the Right.

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Tehmina Pirzada

In this article I focus on the graphic narratives Gogi (1970–the present) by Nigar Nazar and Haroon Rashid’s Burka Avenger (2013–the present) in particular to examine the empowering portrayal of Muslim girlhood that these works offer in addition to advocating for the rights of Muslim girls. I emphasize that graphic narratives have become a powerful medium that represents the resistance of Muslim girlhood both in the context of local patriarchies and as a tool to challenge the stereotypical representation of Muslim identities globally. By focusing on the depiction of the girl protagonists in these graphic narratives, I analyze how these artists rework the western superhero trope to foreground the girls’ everyday heroism. Moreover, by situating the interaction of the girls with Pakistani cityscapes, I argue, in terms of De Certeau’s concept of tactics, that the protagonists navigate the Pakistani cities as familiar places rather than as othered spaces.

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Adrogynous Punk as Postfeminist Signifying Strategy of Transgression within Subcultures

Punk Aesthetic as Gender De(con)struction in the Trilogy Film Series "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Sheila Malone

This article investigates contemporary representations of androgyny and the strategic possibilities of punk-androgyny within a postfeminist imaginary. In looking at the characters Lisbeth in the Swedish film trilogy The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo and Kino in the Japanese anime series Kino's Journey, I am interested in connecting the metonymy of punk dress to representations of transgressions of gender norms. My investigation looks at the concept that gender is “unread” through androgyny which manifests as visual signifiers that make up the punk metonymy. The subjects (characters Lisbeth and Kino) erase the signifier of gender, through punk-androgyny, in order to reclaim power and identity within a (masculinized) subculture and mainstream society. Androgyny is not the desire to be the opposite sex as in a transgender subjectivity. Instead, androgyny is a strategy of aesthetics that transgresses the normative structure of language and signifiers that refer girls and women as less than or as Other through the normative codes of feminizing. In addition to arguing that punk metonymy erases explicit or readable/normative gender signs, I analyze how the motorcycle is situated as an extension of the body. The use of motorcycling propels the literal and figurative androgynous bodies through space in overt transgressive actions against the establishment; it provides agency, motility and ultimately new subject positions for the female protagonists. Through a critical analysis drawing from cultural and post-feminist theory and through the examination of specific scenes, this article aims to investigate punk aesthetic as a post-feminist strategy.

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Pamela Fisher

In December 1989, the ruling communist party of East Germany,

the Socialist Unity Party (SED), was reconstituted when it adopted the

name Socialist Unity Party-Party of Democratic Socialism (SED-PDS),

which was simplified on 4 February 1990 to the Party of Democratic

Socialism.1 The brand of Marxism-Leninism that had prevailed in the

German Democratic Republic (GDR) appeared to be irredeemably

discredited, and the new leadership of this successor party was

obliged to create an alternative vision of socialism and to redefine

their political goals. The PDS program of 1990,2 with its clear adoption

of a feminist agenda, constituted a breach with the party’s political

past. Whereas the Marxist-Leninist theory underpinning SED

policy had been based on the principle that inequality is economically

determined, the new PDS program acknowledged patriarchy

as a separate issue.

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Vicky Lebeau

This article explores the representation of sexuality and vision in Elfriede Jelinek's Die Klavierspielerin [The Piano Teacher] (1983) and Michael Haneke's La Pianiste (2001). In its focus on the relation between Mother and Erika, Die Klavierspielerin brings right to the fore the grounding of both sexuality and visuality in the ongoing ties between mother and child. Displacing that novel onto the screen, Haneke redoubles its focus on vision. It is in the convergence between the two that we can begin to explore what may be described as the maternal dimension of the various technologies of vision that have come to pervade the everyday experience of looking—their effect on our ways of understanding the relations between visuality and selfhood, visuality and mind.