A Place for Pacifism and Transnationalism in Feminist Theory: The Early Work of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

TitleA Place for Pacifism and Transnationalism in Feminist Theory: The Early Work of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsVellacott, Jo
JournalWomen's History Review
Volume2
Issue1
Pagination23-56
Date Published03/1993
Abstract

The work of pacifist and internationalist women is seen as having been sidelined, even feared or disowned by some feminists, as irrelevant or disempowering. It is argued here that this rejection stems from misconceptions caused by rhetoric or by semantic confusion, both originating in patriarchal discourse. The reality of the early work of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is described, and underlying principles are outlined. The perceived relationship between women and peace is re-examined, serving to break down the ‘motherhood-and-apple-pie’ mythology of women's role in peacemaking. The motivation of early WILPF leaders is shown to have been strongly feminist and their actions consciously political; while they supported traditional feminist causes, they also claimed for women a part in world affairs, both as a right and because social justice and equality for women were, in their view, unobtainable in a militaristic world.

URLhttps://doi.org/10.1080/09612029300200021
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