spring 2005
table of contents
UP FRONT
Letter from the Editor
Articles Online
Unquote
NEWS

National
A State Treasure(r)
Wells Goes Coed
Gregoire Takes Charge
Frye's Amazing Race
Judicial Worst
Stats Do Lie
Feldt Leaves PPFA
Dispatches
Calendar


Global

Ukraine's Female Prime Minister
Indian Policewomen
Mexican Journal Debate
Feminista

Soap Operas in Africa
Dispatches
Networking Corner

FEATURES
Cover Story
Housewife Wars | Catherine Orenstein
Desperately Debating Housewives
| Jessica Seigel and Jennifer L. Pozner


More Features

Secrets of the Bonobo Sisterhood | Jessica Seigel
Baghdad Burning | Riverbend
"Not Women Anymore ..." | Stephanie Nolen
A Gallery of Dreaming | Carey Lovelace
La Femme a la Mèche Blonde | Eve Pell

DEPARTMENTS

Fable
A Bad Spell | Bia Lowe

Fiction
Creepy World | Marianne Taylor
Pastries at the Bus Stop | Alice Mattison
Crépe de Chine | Richard McCann

Poetry
Hide and Seek | Kay Ryan
The Germans
| Dorianne Laux
The Spell (in memory, Elise Ascher) | Marie Howe

Touching History
Encounters with Women of Renown:
Kamala Das, Carole King, Bernarda Bryson-Shahn

Book Reviews

Valerie Miner on Alice Hoffman's The Ice Queen
Barbara Pepe on the National Council of Women's Organizations' 50 Ways to Improve Women's Lives: The Essential Women's Guide for Achieving Health, Equality
and Success
.

Plus: Spring Must-Read List

Backtalk
Why Choice Matters | Donna Brazile

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GLOBAL NEWS | spring 2005



Photo / Lucero Gonzalez
Mexico: Activism and Reflection
Feminist journal turns 15

This year, Debate Feminista, the Mexican journal committed to “the theory and practice of feminism” (www.debatefeminista.com), celebrates its 15th birthday.

Edited by Marta Lamas since 1990, the twice-a-year publication receives no institutional support; Lamas has bankrolled it with her own funds.

Lamas and the other founders have succeeded in creating a periodical that connects academic feminist scholarship with the activist women’s movement. One goal of Debate has been to create venues where feminist theories can be aired and political practice analyzed. Another has been to offer translations of work by international feminists, which have earned Debate a key role in women’s studies throughout Latin America.

Each “themed” issue — “love and democracy,” “the right and rights” — includes cultural criticism, fiction, photography, feminist theory and queer studies.

Although it doesn’t aim at a wide audience, its pages do reflect activists’ concerns, and Lamas insists it remains “a tool for struggle and a space for reflection.”

Mexican feminism, she feels, has difficulties with intellectual debate, because constant activism leaves little space for such reflection; there’s almost no discussion in print, no reports or personal accounts. The journal’s main success has been in offering the kind of writing that helps generate serious thought.

“Since we began,” explains Lamas, “we’ve tried to represent two main movement currents: a ‘cultural feminism,’ giving priority to the transformation of daily life, and a ‘political feminism,’ connected to realpolitik. Since in Mexico geopolitical considerations are significant, much of the translated texts and research comes from the United States and Great Britain. … The work of Chicanas has been interesting and useful.”

Debate Feminista has changed surprisingly little over the years, she adds, “because our issues remain the same: reproductive rights, racism, homophobia… Only through public debate can we change stereotypes and introduce a new paradigm allowing us to rethink life and widen the margins of power. It’s necessary to debate within the movement as a step to sparking public debate. We believe strongly that ‘the personal is political’ is still true.”


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