Down the Neoliberal Path: The Rise of Free Choice Feminism
Keywords: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.
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