Global Feminisms: International Perspectives on Women and Gender
In this course, we will focus on the growing filed of global feminism, which spans disciplines and national boundaries. We will examine the concept of feminist thought, seeing how it is not a monolith but rather a variety of contested theories and practices of different “feminisms.” We will focus on the ways systems of power – including race, gender, class, sexuality, colonialism and imperialism, among others – are interrelated and how women and men combat these systems of power. In particular, we will examine how women use their bodies as art form and site of political protest.
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Is there anything more personal -- and political -- to women than their bodies? Aware of the political charge of their bodies, women have physically hurled themselves in public spaces to protest wars, human injustice, and abuse of power. One of the most vivid and longstanding examples of women using their bodies to take up space in non-violent protest is the Women of Greenham Common.
From 1981 to 2000, tens of thousands of British women mobilized to negotiate an end to nuclear proliferation in their hometowns. In opposition to the stationing of U.S. nuclear air missiles at the Greenham Airbase in Berkshire England, the Women of Greenham asserted their power by holding hands and creating a fourteen-mile chain around the Greenham Common Airbase with their bodies. Their nearly twenty-year demonstration drew worldwide media attention, garnering the support of millions around the world.
The following photographs and accompanying testimonials showcase both the creativity and the positive outcome of women taking up space en masse.
Featured Community Voice: Women in Black, Belgrade
Women in Black is a feminist and antimilitarist organization based in Belgrade, Serbia. On June 21, 2006, they staged a creative protest against the Orthodox Church: They took their clothes off.