Making a choice or taking a stand? choice Feminism, political engagement, and the contemporary Feminist movement

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Choice feminism is a popular form of contemporary feminism, encouraging women to embrace the opportunities they have in life and to see the choices they make as justified and always politically acceptable. Though this kind of feminism appears at first glance to be tolerant and inspiring, its narratives also bring about a political stagnation as discussion, debate, and critical judgment of the actions of others are discouraged in the face of being deemed unsupportive and a ‘bad’ feminist. Choice feminism also encourages neoliberal values of individualism and consumerism, while downplaying the need for political and collective action against systematic inequalities. Yet to succeed in creating change for women debate needs to occur, and all decisions cannot be supported if they act to further inequality and a patriarchal status quo. In this article I would like to argue for the continued need to engage politically with other feminists and the status of the movement as a whole by critiquing choice feminism and looking empirically at how discussion and dissent can be silenced by the choice narrative. The empirical data in this article will focus on online discussions of naming on marriage to illustrate the wider theoretical argument.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-68
JournalFeminist Theory
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • accounting, choice feminism, contemporary feminism, naming, politics

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