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French Connections

Voices from the Women's Movement in France

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Although the women's liberation movement is very much an international phenomenon, it has developed very differently in different countries. Debate and exchange between feminists is often difficult, not only because of language barriers, but also because things do not always make sense when removed from their particular social, political, and cultural contexts.

The feminist movement in France has been too often regarded as interesting but largely irrelevant, concerned more with reflection and theory than with seeking practical solutions to concrete problems. In this anthology, Claire Duchen attempts to change that image, demonstrating that although the French movement is indeed characterized by much intellectual debate, it shares the same concerns and struggles of feminists everywhere.

The first part of the volume contains selections on the French Women's Liberation Movement (mouvement de libération des femmes, known as the MLF) itself, reflecting on its history, character, and prospects for the future. The second part contains selections on four areas of debate that have both theoretical and practical dimensions: psychoanalytic feminism, heterosexuality and lesbianism, women's "difference," and the relationship between feminism and the political Left.

The book contains fifteen contributions from eight important writers: Françoise Collin, Christine Delphy, Catherine Deudon, Marie-Jo Dhavernas, Colette Guillaumin, Annie Leclerc, Françoise Picq, and Elaine Viennot.

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