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Alison Phipps gives GRC Annual Lecture on the Fight Against Sexual Violence in a Right Moving World

1 July 2019

Title: The fight against sexual violence in a right-moving world

Abstract: This paper engages critically with the feminist fight against sexual violence, especially in relation to global rightward shifts in which political and cultural narratives around gender are being reshaped and rejuvenated. In the context of a new ‘war on women’ worldwide, #MeToo and similar movements have been key to contemporary political resistance. However, mainstream movements against sexual violence are ill-equipped to address the intersections of patriarchy, capitalism and colonialism which produce sexual violence. Furthermore, more reactionary feminist politics is currently dovetailing with the narratives of the right. I argue that to resist an intersectionality of systems, we need what Angela Davis calls an intersectionality of struggles, and that feminism which does not centre the most marginalised is not fit for purpose.

Bio: Alison Phipps is Professor of Gender Studies at Sussex University. She is author of The Politics of the Body: gender in a neoliberal and neoconservative age (Polity), and is currently working on a new monograph entitled Personal Business: the fight against sexual violence.

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