Framing feminism in post-communist Czech Republic
This article draws upon the analytic notion of “framing” to examine the Czech post-communist encounter with western feminism. Western feminism lacks resonance with Czech women (and men), because most Czechs mistrust utopian and emancipatory ideologies, associate concepts such as “women's emancipation” and “women's movement” with the policies of the discredited communist regime, are disinclined to engage in collective action, regard themselves as strong women rather than as victims, assign highly positive meaning to motherhood and the family, and perceive feminism to be anti-male. Recent changes in women's life strategies and orientations towards career goals, birth control, marriage, and motherhood suggest that the gap between Czech and western feminist frames may be narrowing. As new cohorts are coming of age, as they encounter living conditions which are increasingly similar to those prevailing in other western democracies, and, as the legacies of communism begin to fade, framing efforts along western feminist lines may become more successful.