Postpatriarchal Societies ?
The proclamation of ‘post’-positionalities, with their quasi-linear, underlying assumptions of a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ has shaped much feminist (and other) thought since the early 1990s. Initially inflected by a sense of liberation from constraining structures and modes of thinking (postmodernism, poststructuralism, postfeminism), these post-positionalities have become increasingly exhausted and dubious as “regressive change” in the form of rising conservatisms has seeped into the everyday lives and political and socio-economic fabrics of western countries (Mellström 2017, p. 1). In this text I argue briefly that contemporary developments in gender relations, far from suggesting that we now live in post-patriarchal societies, present a much more heterogeneous picture of patriarchalism in western countries where the coexistence of supposedly post-patriarchal and patriarchal orders, affecting all communities (indigenous and migrant) in complex and contradictory ways, undermine any notion of anything but moderate, and always only provisional, gender contract reforms.
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