The Discourse of the Couple

in Parité!

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780226741079
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226741093 | DOI:
The Discourse of the Couple

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Although parité worked within the familiar framework of individual rights—the right of women to be representatives, individuals elected to incarnate the nation (not to represent the female sex)—the Pacte civil de solidarité (PaCS) dealt with couples and with the terms of recognition granted to them by the state. In the course of 1998‒99, parité and the PaCS intersected, and the discourse of the couple replaced the discourse of the individual in discussions of sexual difference. It was now the relationship between women and men—their necessary complementarities—that were at stake, and no longer the interchangeability of women and men as representatives of the nation. The meaning of parité's demand for 50/50 representation took on a new significance, becoming the endorsement of an essentialist/differentialist notion of sexual difference instead of an antidiscriminatory/individualist claim for equality.

Keywords: parité; PaCS; sexual difference; essentialist; differentialist; individualist

Chapter.  10846 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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