Feminism and Nonviolent Activism

Authored by: Danielle Poe

The Routledge Handbook of Pacifism and Nonviolence

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138194663
eBook ISBN: 9781315638751
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter will focus on the overlap between two political stances: feminism and nonviolence. While feminism has evolved over the years (an evolution that I will explain in the following paragraph), those who are part of this political position turn their attention to the ways in which women’s actions, thoughts, and contributions have been subordinated to those from men. Feminism brings to light the ways in which women’s perspectives are different than men’s and provides new ways of thinking and new forms of justice that are covered over when men’s actions and ideas are held up as the universal standard by which everything else is judged. While not all feminists are committed to nonviolent action, feminism as a movement has example after example of women who responded to violence with nonviolence: Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Dorothy Day, Jane Addams and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Audre Lorde, Wangari Maathi, Shirin Ebadi, Jody Williams, Aung San Suu Kyi, Leymeh Gbowee, and Malala Yousafzai. While this list is long, it is not exhaustive and will hopefully inspire readers to learn about the many different ways that women live out feminist, nonviolent practice.

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