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Join the Women's and Gender Studies program for a talk by Lorna Bracewell, political theorist and associate professor of political science at Flagler College. Her scholarship focuses on feminist theory and the history of political thought and has been published in academic journals like Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and popular forums like The Washington Post. Her book is entitled Why We Lost The Sex Wars: Sexual Freedom in the #MeToo Era.

 

Recent debates over public school curricula have led to a reinvigoration of maternalist politics in the United States. “Moms,” whether “for liberty,” “rising,” or “demanding action,” are entering the political arena to advocate for everything from red-flag laws to book bans. This recent uptick in the politicization of moms presents a challenge for feminists who have long been divided over political strategies centered on motherhood.

 

For a model of the kind of strategic maternalism we advocate, we look to the writings and speeches of nineteenth-century feminist Victoria Woodhull. In a political moment when feminism and LGBTQ+ rights are increasingly framed as hostile to women, mothers, children, and families, and when reactionary politicizations of motherhood abound, contemporary feminists will be well served by a concrete historical example of a feminist who addressed herself directly to mothers, framed motherhood as a spur to feminist action, and hitched maternal duty to policy goals like marriage and family abolition and the destigmatization of marginalized sexual practices.

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  • Jordan Bang

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