Conceptualising Backlash: (UK) men’s rights groups, anti-feminism and postfeminism

Jordan, Ana (2016) Conceptualising Backlash: (UK) men’s rights groups, anti-feminism and postfeminism. Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 28 (1). ISSN 0832-8781

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Abstract

Conceptualising ‘backlash’ and ‘postfeminism’ is important to understanding the gender politics of men’s movements and men’s rights groups. Drawing on the work of relevant (feminist) scholars, I argue for a particular understanding of both backlash and postfeminism and map out a typology intended to help situate different men’s movements. The typology distinguishes between backlash, postfeminism and feminism in terms of the different empirical claims and value judgments relevant to each perspective. Backlash is based on the claim that society disadvantages men rather than women. Gender is seen as political and as requiring a collective, anti-feminist, politics. Postfeminism is a fundamentally ambivalent perspective which assumes that gender equality has already been (mostly) achieved. Some feminist ideas are taken for granted, whilst feminism itself is cast as anachronistic. Gender is depoliticised and feminism becomes an individual lifestyle choice. Finally, feminism, like backlash, assumes that significant gender inequalities exist in contemporary society but sees women as the disadvantaged group. Here, gender is politicised and gendered inequalities necessitate a collective feminist politics. To illustrate the different perspectives articulated by men’s rights groups, I discuss UK fathers’ rights groups (Real) Fathers 4 Justice, arguing that they alternate between postfeminist and backlash narratives.

Keywords:Postfeminism, Backlash, Men's Movements, Men's Rights Groups, Fathers' Rights Groups, Fathers 4 Justice, Masculinity, Gender, Social Movements, Feminism
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L216 Feminism
L Social studies > L210 Political Theories
L Social studies > L380 Political Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:18823
Deposited On:22 Sep 2015 17:10

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