Chapter

The Dilemma of Difference

in Parité!

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780226741079
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226741093 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226741093.003.0004
The Dilemma of Difference

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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As debate about the crisis of democratic representation in France during the mouvement pour la parité unfolded, feminists pointed out that the absence of women in elective office was both a symptom and a cause of the problem. One of the aspects to their critique was an elaboration of the point made by politicians after 1988 that the political class was out of touch with the civil society. Feminists also attacked the false universalism of the abstractions of individual and citizen. The paritaristes proposed to end the “stereotypes and blockages” by guaranteeing that women would hold as many elective positions as men. In an echoing of the traditional arguments used to exclude women—that their sex distorts their ability to be abstract individuals—the paritaristes insisted that the male monopoly of political office also distorted, but this time it was the political body of the nation which was at issue.

Keywords: parité; France; feminists; paritaristes; universalism

Chapter.  10454 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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