The lessons we have learnt: how sexism in American politics sparked off the new feminist renaissance

Misiak, Anna ORCID logoORCID: (2018) The lessons we have learnt: how sexism in American politics sparked off the new feminist renaissance. MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture, 1 (1). ISSN 2003-1671

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Abstract / Summary

This article offers a timely analysis of a recent shift in feminist politics around the globe, providing research evidence for convictions previously vocalised by the press and online critics. Citing social and dominant media responses to Trump's frequent sexist remarks along with reactions from feminist activists and scholars, the author illustrates that the resurfacing of the white masculine threat to gender equality in American politics has catalysed feminist thinking. This detailed examination leads to a socio-cultural diagnosis or a claim that the feminist renaissance has arrived.

Not only is this feminist renaissance a reaction to 'enlightened sexism' and the backlash against feminism, but also the past two decades dominated by western post-feminist agenda. Trump's symbolic and ideological attack on women revealed that de-politicised post- and neoliberal feminist discourses of empowerment through pleasure and self-expression made many western women deceptively confident in their power. At the same time, the available feminist political commentary published in books and academic articles frequently remained shielded from public access—be it because of its scholarly jargon or the price for reading full copies—and thus further contributed to the de-politicisation of popular feminism.

If post-feminist critics lulled the spirit of women's movement to favour feminist lifestyle politics or politics of difference, Trump's sexist discourse mobilised women to unite under the new flag of multivalent feminism. This quick progression towards an intersectional, global promotion of sisterhood and political solidarity best manifested during the 2017 Women's March—the most evident but not the only sign of change in the feminist mindset. Now the most active feminist advocates again champion what bell hooks once labelled 'strategic essentialism' with many more women than ever before identifying as feminists and joining forces despite their differences to form women's coalition.

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Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: feminism
ISSN: 2003-1671
Subjects: Film & TV > Film > Hollywood Film
Film & TV > Film > International Film
Communication > Media
Social Sciences > Public Administration
Social Sciences
Courses by Department: The School of Film & Television > Film
Depositing User: Anna Misiak
Date Deposited: 11 May 2018 11:39
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:29


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