Can “the people” be feminists? Analysing the fate of feminist justice claims in populist grassroots movements in the United States

Akwugo Emejulu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this article I examine the fate of feminist justice claims in the context of
grassroots populist movements in the United States. By exploring populism on
the left—in neighbourhood community organising—and on the right—within
the community organising among the Tea Party—I argue that a “politics of
authenticity” is deployed in each movement with strikingly similar effects on
the development of feminist consciousness and justice claims in each
movement. In left-wing community organising I find that feminist claims are
suppressed in order to preserve solidarity among grassroots actors and to be
perceived by movement outsiders as patriotic. On the right I demonstrate how
women-centric practices are generated through the strategic use of an identity
I label “concerned motherhood”. For the Tea Party, women appear to have the
ability to identify as women for local action but this process seems to threaten
both feminism and democracy by women’s support for a politics of inequality.
I conclude with a discussion about whether feminism and populism can be
reconciled and the perils that confront feminist activists in the current upsurge
of populist movements around the globe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-151
JournalInterface : a Journal for and about Social Movements
Volume3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Can “the people” be feminists? Analysing the fate of feminist justice claims in populist grassroots movements in the United States'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this