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Introduction: Selling Out? Solidarity and Choice in the American Feminist Movement

  • Jennet Kirkpatrick (a1)

This symposium examines an emergent orientation within the American feminist movement called “choice feminism.” Choice feminists are primarily concerned with increasing the number of choices open to women and with decreasing judgments about the choices that individual women make. Choice feminists are best known for their argument that a woman who leaves the remunerated labor market to care for her children is a feminist in good standing; she makes a feminist decision. While media coverage of choice feminism has been extensive, political scientists have been comparatively quiet. In this symposium, four political scientists analyze and evaluate choice feminism, revealing their disagreement about the validity of the choice feminist position and about the meaning of choice feminism for movement politics, political judgment, and liberal political theory.

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Belkin Lisa. 2003. “The Opt-Out Revolution.” The New York Times, October 26.
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Breslauer Jan. 1997. Stacked Like Me. Playboy 44 (7): 64–8.
Hirshman Linda. 2005. Homeward Bound. The American Prospect 16 (12): 20–6.
Hirshman Linda. 2006. Get to Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World. New York: Viking.
Levy Ariel. 2005. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture. New York: Free Press.
Piepzna-Samarasinha Leah Lakshmi. 2006. A Time to Hole up and a Time to Kick Ass: Re-Imagining Activism as a Million Different Ways to Fight. In We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists, ed. Berger Melody. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press.
Roberts Dorothy E. 1997. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. New York: Pantheon Books.
Stone Pamela. 2007. Opting Out?: Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Walker Rebecca. 1995. Being Real: An Introduction. In To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism. New York: Anchor.
Warner Judith. 2005. Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. New York: Riverhead Books.
Wolf Naomi. 1990. The Beauty Myth. London: Chatto and Windus.
Young Cathy. 2008. “Why Feminists Hate Sarah Palin.” Wall Street Journal, September 15.
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Perspectives on Politics
  • ISSN: 1537-5927
  • EISSN: 1541-0986
  • URL: /core/journals/perspectives-on-politics
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