Feminism clearly differs from most of the other political ideologies discussed in this book. It is not a party ideology. Moreover, many of its concerns are with the private sphere of family and interpersonal relations rather than the public sphere of government and conventional politics. Yet the definition of what is and what is not political is itself an essentially ideological question. While many conservatives or liberals would distinguish between state and civil society, and between a public and personal sphere, feminists have long argued that ‘the personal is political’. Thus issues of identity and interpersonal relations, the exploitation of women within the family, or the sexual abuse of women, are political questions. Feminism involves a distinctive and radically different perspective that has important implica tions for politics in its broadest sense.
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