Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a slave (New York: Penguin Books, 2012). (461)


Celis, Karen and Sarah Childs. “The Substantive Representation of Women: What to do with Conservative Claims?”



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Celis, Karen and Sarah Childs. “The Substantive Representation of Women: What to do with Conservative Claims?” Political Studies 60 (2012): 213-225. (12)
Feminism in and of itself is not a “new” movement – the key factors, presentations and demands have remained the same through generations. Karen Celis and Sarah Childs piece, “The Substantive Representation of Women: What to do with Conservative Claims?” dissects the necessity of representation by women in the world of government and politics in order to further the ideals, and realities, of Feminism. Celis and Childs work to expand on the notion that women in politics not only stand as a variation for the status quo, but also to “better [represent] women’s interests; and…[introduce] more feminist policies”.86 In the current political climate of reproductive rights, women’s rights and gender equality movements, it more and more makes sense to have women as representation in government. But, perhaps most interesting in this movement, is the fact that these women who are set to represent are not always those who embrace the feminist agenda. As Celis and Childs explain, the United States is “seeing conservative representatives claiming to act for women” but whose politics are wary to secure a spot at the equality table for women.87 Clear examples of this lie in Former Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, both of whom have become the spokeswomen for the anti-feminist agenda. In light of female representation such as this, Celis and Childs recommend two alternative ways to view conservatism, instead of with the polar titles of feminist and anti-feminist: “Claims as Part of a Feminist Substantive representation of Women” and “Claims as Part of an Economy of Gendered Representation”.88 Ultimately these rather convoluted titles boil down to representatives who claim to be representing women based upon a) the acts of the representative are in fact feminist because they work towards the progression of women, but only if it is explicit what the definition of feminism is, and b) that representatives whom make claims for women make so with a consciousness of gender. This separation of female representation further creates a divide, even within the conservative and liberal groups themselves. Splitting such as this creates a paradox, as one must question if this even holds true to the original ideas of feminism.




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