Suburban Feminism

Liberation

07.03.2012

In the Northern Parisian suburb of St. Denis an association of Muslim women is dedicated to aiding suburban women in need. ‘Voix d’elles rebelles’ (Voices of female rebels) assembles feminists, social workers and researchers from all over France who deal with issues of female elopement, suicidal tendencies, child abduction, domestic violence and forced marriages.

The association runs on a tight budget of 50.000 Euros, which derives from public subsidies and increasingly private donations. Voix d’elles rebelles annually deals with around 300-500 women from the entire capital region. The women prefer to keep their distance from the normative debates on feminism in the suburbs, which does, according to them, not reflect the intersection of misogyny immigrant identities and cultures. The stigma created by the suburban feminism discourse pushes in their eyes many of the accused immigrant men towards religious fundamentalism. On the other hand, they support a suburban feminism which includes both an anti-racist and anti-misogyny mandate.