What is Feminism ? by Brigitte Lechner





Bullet points of what you would like to talk about:

  • The Second Wave 1960s and its structure
  • The Third Wave under postmodernism and neoliberalism
  • Still not waving in 2018 but not drowning either


A few paragraphs on your subject:

What is feminism? Ask ten people this question and you might get ten different answers. It’s not that I claim to have the one right answer but rather that I do have one I have settled on and I am pleased to share it with Ragged members.
My generation of women has seen enormous changes in our lives. I hardly recognise myself as the young woman who always sat quietly in one corner or another. To me, that is proof of feminism as an agent of personal growth and empowerment; one more reason to share what I know about it.
Feminism to me is a political sisterhood because it aims to challenge the dominant social force generally known as patriarchy. Some people get very precise and define it as capitalist patriarchy or imperialist capitalist patriarchy, even imperialist patriarchal capitalism. I suppose one’s view is always determined by where one stands.
My talk therefore aims to clarify what a plain and simple patriarchal society is, how it is structured and how feminists have over time risen to the challenge of the ways in which patriarchy disempowers and even harms women as a sex class; a thing feminists call patriarchal oppression.
Moreover, whilst women are doing different things differently today than they did fifty years ago they are still doing it for themselves and often for men as well. Mine will be a whistle-stop tour through an immensely rich and complex cultural landscape but I hope there will be enough time left to take questions.

A few paragraphs about you:

I am a retiree and was improperly socialised into my life’s role as wife and mother: For example, I was allowed to climb trees, scuff my shoes and scrap with boys. I owe my recovery to the Open University where I learnt how to use my head; and to the feminist movement, where I learnt I was alright as I am.
Curiously enough, I was a feminist long before I realised I was one. Understanding my experiences and having the skills to respond appropriately to life’s problems has allowed me to lead an enriching life I was never really primed for.
I have worked as an adult educator and administrator. Being a life-long learner has helped me generate a deep interest in economics, neuroscience and environmentalism. They readily mesh with my feminism. I have a son and grandson who are passionate feminist allies and a daughter who is a feminist but doesn’t know it yet.

What free internet knowledge resources would you recommend to others if they wish to explore your chosen theme further?

FILIA, charity organising women’s conferences https://filia.org.uk/
Socialist Feminist Network https://www.socfem.net/
Women’s Place UK: https://womansplaceuk.org/
The Complete Works of Andrea Dworkin, Radical Feminist : http://radfem.org/dworkin/
The Fawcett Society: https://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/
Women’s Budget Group: https://wbg.org.uk/
Combahee River Collective Statement: http://circuitous.org/scraps/combahee.html
Gail Dines: Neoliberalism and the defanging of feminism

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Julie Bindel: The pimping of Prostitution

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Rebecca Reilly-Cooper: Critically examining the doctrine of gender identity

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Feminist Current: https://www.feministcurrent.com/about/
David Lessing: Century of the Self

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What are your weblinks?

Twitter – Brigitte.lechner@radialorbiter
Facebook – Brigitte Lechner, and Stockport Women’s Liberation Front, and Stockport Ethical Consumers, and Mental Health Carers Stockport
Public Email – [email protected]

This event took place at the Castle Hotel (66 Oldham St, Manchester M4 1LE) on 14th Nov 2018: