The Gender and Sexualities Research Centre

City, University of London

Dr Laura Favaro

‘Gender Wars’ in Feminism

Gender & Sexualities Research Centre Postdoctoral Research Fellow

At the heart of my current research topic is precisely a battle over (re)definitions of gender and sexuality. What is a woman? What is (thus) a lesbian? And what lies at the root of their oppression? Who is the subject of feminism; what are its aims, its priorities? Sex-based or gender-based politics? Freedom for or freedom from gender?

These are some of the questions I am unpacking as part of a broader sociological analysis of the disputes surrounding sex and gender following increased trans visibility in the mid-2010s between and within self-identified progressive or social justice oriented groups. My ethnography of the ‘gender wars’ focuses especially on feminism and the arenas of activism, media and academia in Britain, drawing upon a myriad of scholarly, documentary and media material that includes user-generated content. In addition, I plan to conduct an online survey as well as in-depth interviews with people from all sides of the debates.

I enter this complex, contentious terrain as a sociologist and educator with a particular interest in feminist theory and history, contemporary media cultures and cultural politics, having previously researched and taught in these areas both at British and Spanish universities.

sbrp126 • July 8, 2020


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