Reversing the Backlash: Building a New Woman's Movement

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017
With Leia Petty

In 1991, Susan Faludi published her acclaimed book Backlash: the Undeclared War Against American Women, where she described a growing assault on women’s efforts to achieve full equality as a “pre-emptive strike” against the gains made by the women’s movement of the 1970s. The backlash subtly reintroduced sexist tropes and denied the necessity for legal measures ensuring women’s equality on the grounds that women had already “made it,” and that their new found equality was making them miserable. Today, we live with the contradictory results of that backlash. For example, where abortion was once considered a positive right, now the word “abortion” apparently cannot even be mentioned on television or in movies. Moreover, many other things that women fought for, including equal pay, are unfinished tasks of the struggle. This meeting will explore the backlash and how to build a new women’s movement that can renew the fight.


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