Feminizing Politics

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Description

Laura Roth and Kate Shea Baird:

"Feminized politics rejects the strong, personal, usually male, leadership favoured by populism. Though left-wing populist movements in Latin America have put some emphasis on the construction of power within communities, this has been primarily instrumental, aimed at maintaining governments in power rather than transforming society from below. Demasculinizing politics means promoting collective models of leadership that listen and aren’t afraid of expressing contradictions or doubt. According to María Eugenia R. Palop, a transformational, feminized leadership is one that “promotes teamwork, horizontality, participation and power-sharing.” (https://roarmag.org/essays/left-populism-feminization-politics/)


Characteristics

Laura Roth and Kate Shea Baird:

"First, gender equality in institutional representation and public participation. Second, a commitment to public policies that challenge gender roles and seek to break down patriarchy. Third, a different way of doing politics, based on values and practices that put an emphasis on everyday life, relationships, the role of the community and the common good." (https://roarmag.org/essays/left-populism-feminization-politics/)


Discussion

Laura Roth and Kate Shea Baird:

"This third element is controversial within the feminist movement. The idea that the “feminine” — itself a product of patriarchy — should be reinforced has been criticized. However, such an approach can be justified for a number of reasons. First, because traditional politics prizes and promotes masculine traits, while it devalues and excludes those with which many women feel more comfortable. There is little point in increasing the proportion of women in decision-making spaces if they are relegated to a subordinate role in them.

Second, by focusing on ways of doing, the feminization of politics gets to the heart of the ways in which gender roles are reproduced. “The personal is political,” said Carol Hanish in 1969, pointing to the fact that the public sphere is directly connected to what happens in the private domain. The slogan also warns us that large-scale plans and abstract ideas alone will be insufficient if they do not include changes at the micro-level, in the practices on which everything else is based.

Finally, because this part of the feminization of politics emphasizes goals like cooperation, participation and considering others’ interests that are valuable in themselves, beyond the question of gender. We believe these elements are the ones that can make a positive impact on people’s lives in the long term, beyond the immediate effect of certain left-wing policies." (https://roarmag.org/essays/left-populism-feminization-politics/)