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Postfeminism: what it is and what it contributes to the gender issue

Postfeminism: what it is and what it contributes to the gender issue

July 17, 2024

Under the name of Postfeminism a group of works are grouped that assume a critical stance before the previous feminist movements, while claiming the diversity of identities (and the freedom to choose them), beyond heterosexuality and sex-gender binarism.

Post-feminism arose between the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, and it has had repercussions not only in rethinking the feminist movement itself, but also in expanding the ways of identifying ourselves and relating in different spaces (in relationships of couple, family, the school, health institutions, etc.).

Here we review some of his background, as well as some of the main proposals.

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Ruptures with previous feminism and some background

After several decades of struggles that had been important in advancing equal rights, feminism pauses and realizes that, in large part, these struggles had focused on grouping women, as if 'the woman' were an identity and a fixed and stable subjective experience .

From there, many questions are opened. For example, what is it that makes someone be considered a 'woman'? Is the body sexed? Are they the practices of sexuality? While we have fought in the name of 'the woman', have we also reified the same binary structures that have oppressed us? If gender is a social construct, who can be a woman? And how? And, before all this, Who is the political subject of feminism?

In other words, Post-feminism was organized under the consensus that the vast majority of previous feminist struggles had been based on a static and binary concept of 'women', with which many of their premises were quickly oriented towards an essentialism uncritical It opens then a new path of action and political vindication for feminism , based on rethinking identity and subjectivity.

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Poststructuralism and feminism

Under the influence of poststructuralism (who reacted to the structuralist binarism and which pays more attention to the latent of the discourse than to the language itself), the subjective experience of the speaking beings was put at stake for feminism.

Poststructuralism had opened the way for a "deconstruction" of the text, which was ultimately applied to think about the subjects (sexed), whose identity had been given as pre-established.

That is, Postfeminism wonders about the process of identity construction , not only of sexed subject 'woman', but of the own relations that have been marked historically by the sex-gender binarism.

Thus, they put in consideration that this system (and even feminism itself) had settled on heterosexuality as a normative practice, which means that, from the outset, we are installed in a series of excluding categories, whose purpose is to configure our desires , our knowledge and our links to binary and frequently unequal relationships.

Before a dispersed and unstable subject, feminism, or rather , feminisms (already plural), also become processes in permanent construction, which maintain a critical position before feminisms considered as 'colonial' and 'patriarchal', for example, liberal feminism.

The plurality of identities

With Postfeminism the multiplicity of signifiers that make there is no unicity in "being a woman", and in "being a man", being "feminine", "masculine", etc., are uncovered. Posteminism transforms this into a struggle for freedom to choose an identity, transform it or experience it, and make recognize your own desire .

Thus, it is positioned as a commitment to diversity, which tries to vindicate the different experiences, and the different bodies, desires and ways of life. But this can not happen in the traditional and dissymmetric sex-gender system, so it is necessary to subvert the limits and norms that have been imposed.

Feminists themselves are recognized as being constituted by different identities, where nothing is fixed or determined. The identity of sexed subjects consists of a series of contingencies and subjective experiences that occur according to the life history of each one; beyond being determined by physical features that have been historically recognized as 'sexual traits' .

For example, lesbian and trans identity, as well as feminine masculinity, take on special relevance as one of the main struggles (which had gone unnoticed not only in patriarchal and heteronormal society, but in feminism itself).

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Queer theory and trans bodies

Society is a space for the construction of sexuality. Through speeches and practices desires and bonds are normalized that to a large extent legitimize heterosexuality and gender binarism as the only possible This also generates spaces of exclusion for identities that do not conform to its norms.

Given this, Queer Theory claims what was considered as 'rare' (queer, in English), that is, takes sexual experiences that are different from heteronormadas-peripheral sexualities-as a category of analysis to denounce abuses , the omissions, the discriminations, etc., that have defined the ways of life in the West.

Thus, the term 'queer', which used to be used as an insult, is appropriate for people whose sexualities and identities have been in the periphery, and becomes a powerful symbol of struggle and vindication.

On the other hand, the movement of intersex, transgender and transexo people , questions that masculinity has not been exclusive to the body of the heterosexual man (the sexed body in masculine); nor the femininity something exclusive of the sexed body in feminine, but throughout history, there has been a great multiplicity of ways of living sexuality that have been beyond the heterocentric system.

Both Queer Theory and trans experiences summon the diversity of identities of biological bodies, as well as the multiplicity of sexual practices and orientations that they had not been foreseen by heterosexual regulations .

In short, for Postfeminism the struggle for equality occurs from diversity and from the opposition to gender-gender dissymmetric binarism. Their bet is for the free choice of identity against violence to which those who do not identify with heteronormative sexualities are systematically exposed.

Bibliographic references:

  • Alegre, C. (2013). The post-feminist perspective in education. Resist in school. International Journal of Research in Social Sciences, 9 (1): 145-161.
  • Wright, E. (2013). Lacan and post-feminism. Gedisa: Barcelona.
  • Fonseca, C. and Quintero, M.L. (2009). The Queer Theory: the de-construction of peripheral sexualities. Sociological (Mexico), 24 (69): 43-60.
  • Velasco, S. (2009). Sexes, gender and health. Theory and methods for clinical practice and health programs. Minerva: Madrid.

Women Get a Taste of the Gender Equality They've Always Wanted [Mirror of Red Pill Philosophy] (July 2024).

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