“The frivolous objections some women made to our appeals were as
exasperating as they were ridiculous”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eighty Years and More
From the 1911 National Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage to Phyllis
Schlafly’s “STOP-ERA” campaign in the 1980s and governor Kay
Ivey’s recent signing into law of House Bill 314 criminalizing
abortion in Alabama, women have played a prominent role in opposing
feminism in the US. Yet these visible forms of anti feminism are but the
tips of a much larger iceberg of women’s resistance to feminism that
this two-day conference, organized by the “Women and the F-Word”
team (https://wfw.hypotheses.org), proposes to explore.
The notion of women’s resistance to feminism includes—but is not
reduced to—organized antifeminism, a countermovement which has been
the object of pioneering work (A. Dworkin, _ Right Wing Women_, 1983, T.
Jablonsky, _ The Home, Heaven, and Mother Party_, 1994, S. Marshall, _
Splintered Sisterhood_, 1997). Resistance is understood as a broad set
of negative reactions experienced and/or expressed by women or groups of
women when they are faced with self-styled feminist behaviors, ideas or
actions. As feminism is conceived as a flexible and evolving ideology,
which the plural “feminisms” more adequately reflects, the modes and
mechanisms of resistance will be examined from a diachronic and
dialogical perspective that always takes into account the particular
This interdisciplinary conference means to bring together contributions
shedding light on the specific features of women’s resistance to
feminisms in the United States since the 19th century.
Papers addressing the following issues will be welcome:
- -How did/do women perceive the first women’s rights advocates?
- What precise term initially triggers resistance?: Rights? Suffragism? Feminism? Modern/Radical feminism? White? Elite? Abortion? Etc..
- How do women (de)construct their own (non) feminism through those terms?
- What sort of discourses/actions did/do they produce or perform and how did/do they spread them?
- How did/do women evolve from a position of “feminist” to “anti“ or “non feminist”?
- How did/do they (re)negotiate their identification to womanhood?
- How important are the binaries feminism/femininity, feminism/individualism ?
- How does intersectionality shape resistance and how, in turn, does resistance strengthen intersectional identities?
- How did/do women contest the boundaries of mainstream feminism?
- How does globalization affect the mechanisms of resistance?
- Are there cases of transnational resistance?
- How has resistance evolved over the centuries? (persistence and
- How does women’s resistance impact feminism?
- Can indifference be considered a form of resistance?
DEADLINE: October 15, 2019.
PLACE AND DATE OF THE CONFERENCE: APRIL 3-4 2020
Aix-Marseille University, 29 avenue Robert Schuman, 13621 Aix-en-Provence, France
KEYNOTE ADDRESS : Dr Ronnee Schreiber (San Diego State University),
author of _Righting Feminism: Conservative Women and American Polit_ics