Re-Signifying Feminism: The Neo-Liberalization of Gender Equality in Post-Recession Britain.
Using the term ‘neoliberal feminism’ (Rottenberg, 2014), this paper explores how feminism is currently being re-signified within post-recession Britain. I argue that the feminism young women now ‘speak’, can be seen to adopt a ‘neoliberal’ form, consisting of free choice, individualism, opportunity and success, in which the female subject accepts full responsibility for her own well-being and self-care (Rottenberg, 2014). Despite living in a time of rising uncertainty, precarity and deepening social inequality in the UK, such a ‘neoliberal feminism’ helps to disavow the current social, cultural and economic forces producing inequality. Young women acknowledge the impact austerity is having on their lives, however individual creative solutions are used to appease such structural problems and are presented as the way out of such a situation. Such findings will contribute to understand how feminism is both spoken and ‘allowed’ to be spoken within the current economic and political context of the UK and how this new form of feminism is aiding the re-direction of democratization.