Sexism, in the form of contempt for women, still pervades every culture


Firstly, contempt as felt by many women involves two fundamental aspects:

i) contempt for her person as equal to any other human being in general;

ii) contempt for her difference as a woman.

These two forms of disrespect have often been interpreted as incitement to the mistreatment or concealment of women in society or in history. Sexist contempt appears almost everywhere in culture. The two types of contempt still rife in almost all cultures. They appear in all major religions, languages ​​and morality in general[1]. A contrario, universal feminism would be a feminism that would seek full respect for all women worldwide. This universal approach would go hand in hand with the recognition of women as equals, but would go further still. Specifically, this universal approach would mean two things:

–          i)    Universal recognition of all women as human beings in the full sense of the word and

–          ii)   Universal recognition for all women of their difference as desired or chosen: woman rather than man, lesbian rather than heterosexual, Muslim woman rather than Western woman, etc. This is interpreted as a demand for equal status for any person, man or woman, and respect for the difference freely chosen by the woman, whatever this difference may be.

–          The concept of respect for difference is difficult to grasp — women being simultaneously equal and different. However, it can be interpreted quite clearly in terms of autonomy: women want to be recognized as being autonomous, which means, in particular, that they are not obliged to remain a member of a patriarchal culture or community nor, by extension, to remain a member of any culture or community, if it were feminist (as in the case of lesbians). In short, point ii above equates to the recognition of the right to dissent against a group to which you no longer belong. Consequently, a feminist may dissent profoundly against the « patriarchal » society to which she no longer wishes to belong. A feminist may also not dissent but simply hold a different opinion, since it is up to them to decide which group she belongs to. Lesbians demand the right to separate their own identity from that of heterosexual feminists. Muslim women do not wish to be counted among Western feminists and this is also the case for followers of other religions who value their difference.

To go further, see Open Letter to Feminists


[1] See Ariane Buisset, Les religions face aux femmes, Paris, ÉditionsAccarias/L’Originel, 2008; Dalila Morsley (linguist), « Revisiter la langue », Le siècle des féminismes,  Paris, Les Éditions de l’Atelier, 2004; Dalila Morsleystates that, in 1978, Quebec, « pioneer in the field » (« pionnier en la matière »), produced the first guide to the feminization of professions (p. 321); Le livre noir de la condition des femmes, ed. by Christine Ockrent, Paris, XO Éditions, 2006.