vol 22 - 1996

The theme of this issue is "Women and the State in the Americas." To put this theme, and this particular set of articles, in context involves looking back to the early days of Second Wave feminism, the days in which intellectual work was perhaps more grounded in grassroots political organizing than in the then very rare academic institutions of women's studies. Twenty years ago, an important group of feminist scholars, many if not most of whom had activist careers, set out on a quest to document and theorize the ways in which state institutions mold and at the same time rely on gender specific practices and ideologies. "Women and the state" was the banner under which such scholarship developed.

Today, sociologists and political scientists are no longer so certain that there is such a thing as "the state," and feminists no longer agree on the significance and content of the category "women." These doubts do not mean that the scholarship and the political activism formerly gathered under the "women and the state" umbrella are outmoded: on the contrary, the articles in this issue join a vast and growing literature around the questions of "women and the state." But feminists as well as nonfeminists are more wary of generalizations either about "the state" or about "women," and by and large we have given up the earlier dream of a universally valid theory of the relationship between the two. The scholarship on women and the state is today more empirically grounded and specific. And yet some common themes are emerging from these case studies.


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Susan Zeiger
She Didn't Raise Her Boy to Be a Slacker:
Motherhood, Conscription, and the Culture
of the First World War

Nancy Caro Hollander
The Gendering of Human Rights: Women
and the Latin American Terrorist State

Joceline Clemencia
Women Who Love Women in Curaçao:
Cachapera to Open Throats
A Commentary in Collage

Cynthia Mahabir
Rape Prosecution, Culture, and Inequality
in Postcolonial Grenada

Katherine Teghtsoonian
Promises, Promises: "Choices for Women" in
Canadian and American Child Care
Policy Debates

Tamara Friedman
Stuck (Fiction)

Rebecca E. Biron
Feminist Periodicals and Political Crisis in
Fem, debate feminista, and La Correa Feminista
in the 1990s

Felicia A. Kornbluh
The New Literature on Gender and the
Welfare State: The U.S. Case
(Review Essay)

Lisa Chewning
Jade and Jasmine (Fiction)

Ann Schwab
Teaching Martin Buber to the Ladies Aid (Poetry)

Jesse Lee Kercheval
For Women, a Victory (Poetry)

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