Valerie Bryson
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We need to talk about capitalism
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This chapter examines the claim that a new form of ‘neoliberal feminism’ is both taking over feminism and using it to legitimise new forms of exploitation. It finds that neoliberal politicians will support equal rights for women when it is profitable to do so, and that this can produce benefits for some groups. However, neoliberalism ignores the poverty, exploitation and inequality that its policies also produce, and it cannot see the economic or social value of women’s traditionally unpaid work. The chapter agrees with critics of neoliberal feminism that it does not provide a way forward for women, but it rejects the claim that feminism as a whole has been taken over. The chapter’s final section looks at the case of the British Conservative Party, and links Theresa May’s failure to deliver her promises to women to the contradictory nature of her neoliberal thinking.

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