Sara Ruddick

Sara Ruddick, “A Women’s Politics of Resistance,” in Larry May and others, Applied Ethics: A Multicultural Approach, Prentice Hall, 2011, 5th ed., pp. 296-303.

Maternal thinking supports universal non-violent resistance.

Some parochial women’s activism has arisen from “cheery denial” and, in some settings, has supported militarism. Women’s resistance movements in Germany and Chile, for example, have supported nationalism. Feminine resistance in South Boston has opposed racial integration. A willingness to be self-deceived (“cheery denial”) has been a source of support for militarism.

Activism that springs from maternal nurturing has opposed militarism. Women living under the military dictatorships of Argentina and Chile have engaged in non-violent resistance to the policy of kidnapping, imprisonment, torture, and murder of the “disappeared.” The maternal capacity to feel the pain of others supports opposition to militarism.

Non-violent feminine resistance has universal elements. Non-violent resistance by women goes beyond cheery denial and parochialism. Some women in the Argentinian and Chilean resistance movements have extended their protest to the protection of anyone victimized by violence.