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The paper I am reading says,

On the other hand, the side of the split comes from challenges made in the 1970s to the primarily white, non-disabled, heterosexual, and otherwise privileged mainstream feminist movement- challenges to the ability and appropriateness of a privileged subgroup of women dictating the interests of all women (Hines, 2018).

What is the usage of the hyphen tailing after 'movement'? And why there are two verbs ('...the side of the split comes from...' and '...movement- challenges to...') in this sentence?

The screenshot of the paper: enter image description here

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  • Perhaps the space is a relic of copying from another source where 'movement-challenges' was split on a line break. Both of the 'challenges' are nouns. Dec 20 '20 at 17:11
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    It's not really a hyphen tailing after 'movement' (orthographically there should probably be a space before it anyway). It's a dash before the supplementary clause starting with the word challenges - a dash that indicates the text that follows can't quite exist as a standalone sentence. Same as my dash in the preceding sentence. Dec 20 '20 at 17:15
  • Note that OP's example explicitly "picks up / repeats" the relevant noun challenges immediately after the hyphen - just as mine picks up on a dash. I think it would probably always be syntactically invalid to use this construction if you didn't explicitly repeat the noun like this. Dec 20 '20 at 17:20
  • Yes, I missed the possibility of a dash in the complex 'privileged mainstream feminist movement challenges'. Dec 20 '20 at 17:27
  • @WeatherVane In order to eliminate your doubts, I have added a screenshot.
    – IvanaGyro
    Dec 20 '20 at 19:11
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It is a poor piece of typography. The intention here is a dash — This is longer than a hyphen and functions somewhat like a comma, but suggests a longer pause, or when the use of commas could be confusing.

They can also be used like colons, to introduce a phrase that expands on or clarifies the preceding one. In this use they can often be replaced by a colon, or a phrase like "To clarify..."

On the other hand, the side of the split comes from challenges made in the 1970s to the primarily white, non-disabled, heterosexual, and otherwise privileged mainstream feminist movement. To clarify, these were challenges to the ability and appropriateness of a privileged subgroup of women dictating the interests of all women.

The phrase following the punctuation describes and explains what the challenges mentioned at the start of the sentence actually were. Note that "challenges" is a plural noun, and not a verb.

A hyphen '-' is incorrect here, instead the long em-dash '—' should have been used.

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  • Thank you! After changing the hyphen to the long em-dash, the sentence becomes reasonable.
    – IvanaGyro
    Dec 20 '20 at 19:14

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