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Joan W. Scott
‘La Querelle des Femmes’in the Late Twentieth Century
Although this essay is about feminist challenges to certain ideas of universal citizenship, it was provoked by anger: the intense anger being expressed by some Parisian intellectuals and journalists from across the political spectrum about American politics in general and American feminism in particular.  And also my own anger at the outrageous, patently ahistorical caricatures of national character—French and American—that are being produced in the course of the latest version of ‘la querelle des femmes’. (The ‘querelle’ was, in the sixteenth century, a literary and philosophical debate—largely among men—about the intellectual and amorous capabilities of women. Now the ‘querelle’ is about feminism and, although men have joined the conversation, most of the participants are women.)
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