Beyond French Feminisms: Debates on Women, Politics, and by Roger Célestin, Eliane DalMolin, Isabelle de Courtivron

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 important. past French Feminisms proposes to reply to the query: what's new in French Feminism first and foremost of the twenty-first century? The essays replicate the shift from the theoretical and philosophical methods that characterised feminism two decades in the past, to the extra social and political questions of this day. themes contain: the 'parité' and PACS debates, the France-USA discussion, the 'multicultural' concerns, and the hot developments in literature and movie by means of women.

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The same phenomenon can be observed in the technical highschools: girls gravitate toward the less-qualified fields traditionally considered “feminine” (staff in professional organizations or business enterprises, secretarial work, the health sector). The same inequality persists in preparatory classes for the grandes écoles scientifiques (prestigious public institutions of higher education in the sciences) and in the schools themselves. In the medical schools, the proportion of women declines the further up the hierarchy of specializations they climb; some fields—surgery, for example—are practically off-limits to women, whereas others, such as pediatrics and gynecology, are more or less reserved for them.

Ferguson in 1896 finally and completely overturned—races could not any longer be deemed equal while they remained separate. Desegregation can be the most powerful weapon against discrimination—especially within marriage. One essential question remains—whether the shift from race to sexual preference is legitimate. Does the same logic apply in both cases? Can one extend the argument—from one kind of discrimination to another, from one minority to another? Paradoxically, the answer may be easier to provide in France than in the United States: since 1985, French law (in contrast to American federal law) has explicitly rejected discrimination based on “sexual orientation” (or rather, literally, “mores”), alongside other forms of discrimination—based on race, sex, national origin, religion, and so on.

The Left thus opened up the definition of the family. But how open should it be—that is, how far should one go in the direction of complexity? For all throughout the 1990s, the issue of same-sex couples had been raised on the Left: should these couples be granted a status? And if so, since the question was not any longer merely of toleration, but actually of recognition, should one not go a step further and grant legitimacy not only to same-sex couples, but also to gay and lesbian families? This was the new question raised when the Left regained power in 1997, as gay and lesbian organizations joined in support of (beyond the much more moderate version of the PaCS) same-sex marriage itself—not only the APGL (Association des Parents et futurs parents Gays et Lesbiens), but also the Centre Gay et Lesbien, AIDES, and even Act-Up Paris.

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