Individualised Femininity and Feminist Politics of Choice

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Individualised Femininity and Feminist Politics of Choice. / Budgeon, Shelley.

In: The European Journal of Women's Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3, 08.2015, p. 303-318.

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@article{4eef48df318a449d8a621f3c810b7429,
title = "Individualised Femininity and Feminist Politics of Choice",
abstract = "Women's right to exercise choice has been one of feminism’s central political claims. Where second wave feminism focused on the constraints women faced in making free choices, choice feminism more recently reorients feminist politics with a call for recognition of the choices women are actually making. From this perspective the role of feminism is to validate women's choices without passing judgement. This paper analyses this shift in orientation by locating women's choices within a late modern gender order in which the ideal of choice has increasingly been associated with a new form of femininity characterised as self-determining, individuated and 'empowered'. Instead of offering an effective analysis of the changing social conditions within which the relationship between feminism, femininity and individual choice has become increasingly complicated, choice feminism directs criticism at feminist perspective characterised as overly prescriptive. This critique fails to appreciate how feminist ideals have been recuperated in service of late capitalism and neoliberal forms of governance. By failing to engage critically with processes currently impacting on the social organisation of gender choice feminism aids in the constitution of an individuated neoliberal feminist subject which performs cultural work vital to the reproduction of neoliberal governmentality.",
keywords = "Feminization of labour, individualization, neoliberal feminism, neoliberalism, postfeminism",
author = "Shelley Budgeon",
year = "2015",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1177/1350506815576602",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "303--318",
journal = "The European Journal of Women's Studies",
issn = "1350-5068",
publisher = "SAGE Publications",
number = "3",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Individualised Femininity and Feminist Politics of Choice

AU - Budgeon, Shelley

PY - 2015/8

Y1 - 2015/8

N2 - Women's right to exercise choice has been one of feminism’s central political claims. Where second wave feminism focused on the constraints women faced in making free choices, choice feminism more recently reorients feminist politics with a call for recognition of the choices women are actually making. From this perspective the role of feminism is to validate women's choices without passing judgement. This paper analyses this shift in orientation by locating women's choices within a late modern gender order in which the ideal of choice has increasingly been associated with a new form of femininity characterised as self-determining, individuated and 'empowered'. Instead of offering an effective analysis of the changing social conditions within which the relationship between feminism, femininity and individual choice has become increasingly complicated, choice feminism directs criticism at feminist perspective characterised as overly prescriptive. This critique fails to appreciate how feminist ideals have been recuperated in service of late capitalism and neoliberal forms of governance. By failing to engage critically with processes currently impacting on the social organisation of gender choice feminism aids in the constitution of an individuated neoliberal feminist subject which performs cultural work vital to the reproduction of neoliberal governmentality.

AB - Women's right to exercise choice has been one of feminism’s central political claims. Where second wave feminism focused on the constraints women faced in making free choices, choice feminism more recently reorients feminist politics with a call for recognition of the choices women are actually making. From this perspective the role of feminism is to validate women's choices without passing judgement. This paper analyses this shift in orientation by locating women's choices within a late modern gender order in which the ideal of choice has increasingly been associated with a new form of femininity characterised as self-determining, individuated and 'empowered'. Instead of offering an effective analysis of the changing social conditions within which the relationship between feminism, femininity and individual choice has become increasingly complicated, choice feminism directs criticism at feminist perspective characterised as overly prescriptive. This critique fails to appreciate how feminist ideals have been recuperated in service of late capitalism and neoliberal forms of governance. By failing to engage critically with processes currently impacting on the social organisation of gender choice feminism aids in the constitution of an individuated neoliberal feminist subject which performs cultural work vital to the reproduction of neoliberal governmentality.

KW - Feminization of labour

KW - individualization

KW - neoliberal feminism

KW - neoliberalism

KW - postfeminism

U2 - 10.1177/1350506815576602

DO - 10.1177/1350506815576602

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 303

EP - 318

JO - The European Journal of Women's Studies

JF - The European Journal of Women's Studies

SN - 1350-5068

IS - 3

ER -