Rita Ávila RITA AVILA

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Estudos Feministas

Print version ISSN 0104-026X

Abstract

SOIHET, Rachel. Mockery as an anti-feminist weapon: a conservative instrument wielded by libertarians.Translated byRita Ávila. Estud. fem. [online]. 2006, vol.2Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0104-026X.

In the 1960's, amid the countercultural rebellion, together with the struggle of North-American blacks for civil rights and with protests against the Vietnam War, emerges the women's rebellion. A new feminist setting is urged forward in the United States and in Europe, with a vivid expression in Brazil as well: those women deemed the separation between public and private, between personal and political a mystification, and insisted on the structural nature of domination expressed in the relations of quotidian life, a domination whose systematic nature appeared obscured, as if it were the product of personal situations. At that time, though Brazil was vexed in the mire of a military dictatorship, the outstanding endeavors of some - inspired in the countercultural ideals against the regime - made great strides in combating authoritarianism and promoting criticism of customs. Ridicule was their weapon, skillfully wielded by members of the journal O Pasquim. Paradoxically, however, the mordacity of many of the writers turned equally against the women who fought for their rights and who assumed attitudes considered inadequate according to the traditional femininity standards, and to the established relations between genders. The writers of the journal would ridicule the militants, making use of labels such as "masculine, ugly, flat-chested," not to mention "depraved, promiscuous," which earned them great repercussion. Such a pattern of behavior stems from the fear of relinquishing male predominance in gender power relations, evincing strong conservatism in contrast with attitudes seen as libertarian under other circumstances.

Keywords : feminism; gender relations; personal/political; mockery; conservatism.

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