French Feminist Movements: History, Politics and Theory (3736 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay


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The Mouvement de Libération des femmes (MLF) [Women’s Liberation Movement], which emerged from the events of May 68, was not the first manifestation of French feminism. Maité Albistur and Daniel Armogathe’s history of French feminism devotes only one of its 25 chapters to the post-1968 period, and when Simone de Beauvoir wrote the introductory sentences to The Second Sex in 1949, she stated that “The subject [. . . ] is not new. Enough ink has been spilt in quarrelling over feminism, and perhaps we should say no more about it.” However, the MLF of the 1970s was a particularly vibrant expression of feminism, and, despite the excellent work of feminist historians since then, which has shown continuities with earlier (and l…

Citation: Allwood, Gill. "French Feminist Movements: History, Politics and Theory". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 October 2010 [, accessed 24 October 2020.]

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