Down the Neoliberal Path: The Rise of Free Choice Feminism


  • Ankica Čakardić



neoliberalism, capitalism, free choice ideology, women’s entrepreneurship, feminism, social reproduction theory


The free choice ideology dictates that any time a woman makes a choice it is an act of feminism. The idea that personal choice presupposes the faraway horizons of freedom and its guarantee, as well as the undoubted potentials of women’s empowerment, makes up the central position of the critique in this essay. Our text is divided into two parts. In the first part of the paper we are going to outline the basic assumptions of neoliberalism, in order to use them as foundations for the argument about its feminist affirmation. We will illustrate the relationship between neoliberalism and feminism by using the example of women's entrepreneurship, which is usually interpreted as a strategy of undeniable emancipation. In the second part of the essay, as a concrete response to ‘neoliberal feminism’, we are going to point to the progressive potential of social reproduction theory and socialist-feminist practice to be further developed out of it. Given the intention of this text is not to exhibit a detailed historical-comparative analysis of feminism, we are merely going to use concrete examples to illustrate the link between feminism and neoliberalism, and to map the shift from early second-wave feminism to identity politics and the cultural turn that swallows up the critique of political economy.

Author Biography

Ankica Čakardić

Faculty for Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb

Ankica Čakardić (Rijeka, Croatia, 1977) received her PhD at the Department of Philosophy at the Faculty for Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb where since 2010 she has worked as an assistant professor and has been the chair of the Department of Social Philosophy and Philosophy of Gender. She also teaches Marxist socio-economic philosophy and contemporary philosophical terminology. In the period 2007–2010 she taught cultural studies at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Rijeka where she was the head of the Department for Cultural Theory and Discursive Studies. Her research interest lies at the interface of political and social philosophy with an emphasis on the Marxist critique of the social contract, intellectual history, philosophy of gender, history of women’s struggles and feminist political economy. She has edited two books, and has published numerous academic articles, essays and translations in domestic and international journals and collected volumes.


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How to Cite

Čakardić, A. (2017). Down the Neoliberal Path: The Rise of Free Choice Feminism. AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (14), 33–44.