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Taking French Feminism to the Streets

Fadela Amara and the Rise of Ni Putes Ni Soumises

A groundbreaking overview of the French civil rights movement Ni Putes Ni Soumises

In 2003, Fadela Amara founded Ni Putes Ni Soumises (NPNS, translated as "Neither Whores Nor Submissive"), a French feminist social movement that arose in the banlieues, or impoverished suburbs of Paris. Growing up in the banlieues as a child of Algerian immigrants, Amara became a fierce advocate for the underclass and was later appointed to a post in the French government headed by Nicolas Sarkozy. Led by Amara and devoted to obtaining equal rights and opportunities for everyone, NPNS is especially focused on improving conditions for Muslim immigrant women who often suffer from discrimination, violence, and repression.

Providing ample context and explanation of the NPNS movement, Brittany Murray and Diane Perpich include unpublished materials from the movement's formative days, when women spoke for the first time about the difficulties and violence faced daily in France's ghettos. Sections of Amara's book Scum of the Republic, coauthored with Mohammed Abdi, appear in translation. The final portion of the book provides additional information about Amara's perspectives on immigration, discrimination, feminism, the headscarf affair, and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Enriched by an exclusive interview with Amara that reflects on NPNS goals and achievements, Taking French Feminism to the Streets provides a penetrating analysis of social, political, and economic conditions in France.

"Murray and Perpich have done valuable work introducing, compiling, and translating documents from Ni Putes Ni Soumises(NPNS), one of the most influential French feminist groups of the last decade. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice

"Through this interesting combination of primary and secondary sources, the reader gains a fundamental understanding of NPNS goals and strategies as well as insight into the complex set of values and beliefs held by the group's founders. . . . Provides a treasure trove of material for students of social movements."--H-France Review

"This timely book brings to American readers an understanding of a new French feminist movement originating with Muslim women in the ghettos of France. Through translation of primary texts by Fadela Amara and Mohammed Abdi, a working relationship with the organizers of the Ni Putes Ni Soumises movement, and extensive interviews with activists, the editors transform our understanding of the movement."--Margaret A. Simons, editor of Simone de Beauvoir's Wartime Diary

Brittany Murray is a Ph.D. student in the department of French and Italian at Northwestern University. She worked alongside Ni Putes Ni Soumises (NPNS) activists while on a Fulbright Fellowship and attended the 2007 World Social Forum in Kenya as an NPNS representative. Diane Perpich is an associate professor of philosophy at Clemson University, the director of the program in women’s studies, and the author of The Ethics of Emmanuel Levinas.

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