Rossella Ghigi

Gender Difference Takes Shape. From Women's Studies to Gender Studies

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"What is a woman?". Feminist studies have tried to answer this question ever since the 1970s, and this article highlights how disciplines such as medicine, law and politics have been shaped over the centuries by a strictly male perspective. A survey of female scholars and studies that have considered the body as the main arena for the symbolic and political investment of patriarchal power underlines how the change of perspective has been fuelled by the women's liberation movement. The dominant theme was initially centred on women's oppression, followed by women's studies and gender studies. Today the debate is focused on the theme of "maleness" as a social and symbolic construct.

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