Equal but different: questions about rights, statistics and feminist strageties for change

  • Katy Deepwell


Katy Deepwell

Equal but different: Questions about Rights, Statistics, and Feminist Strategies for Change

One of the central paradoxes in feminist theory is the apparently double (and simultaneous) claim of feminism(s) for both equality and difference. How can women be both different and equal? How can we measure when, where, and how “equality” has been achieved: Is it a question of how we discuss rights, how we compile statistics, or the methods we apply to assess differences among women and between men and women? These seemingly simple questions about equality and difference appear to pull feminism in different directions, but they actually represent some of the more complex politics, aims, and strategies at work within feminist debates. This essay explores how these debates are manifest in assessments of the current position of women artists, attempts to measure their progress, and what constitutes a certain “avant-garde” contemporary feminist art (although this author takes it as a given that not all art produced by women today is feminist).