Venus's Strabismus. Looking at the Crisis of Politics from the Politics of Difference

One of the main features of Italian feminism of "difference," as seen from an international perspective, is its distinctly political vocation. This vocation is not only, nor especially, limited to the perimeter of a gender politics, but is to be found in the radical critique or in the rethinking of traditional political categories, in the invention of new practices, in the redefinition of the very sphere of politics and in the modes of its transformation. The Italian case, as far as feminism is concerned, is also characterised by the fact that this feminist political critique has been carried on for more than three decades alongside a crisis of traditional politics. The aim of this essay is twofold: one the one hand I analyse the relationship between political crisis and a critique of politics as seen in the larger framework of the relationship between the demise of patriarchy and the end of modern politics; on the other, I examine the resources which may derive from a feminist thought and practice in the present season, which, in Italy, seems marked not only by a crisis but by the collapse of democratic politics
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