Not All Feminist Ideas Are Equal: Anti-Capitalist Feminism and Female Complicity

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This paper advocates a more explicit feminist discussion of female complicity by
demonstrating that existing discourses on women’s participation in patriarchal practices are inadequate. By looking at two contemporary anti-capitalist feminist texts—One Dimensional Woman by Nina Power and Meat Market: Female Flesh under Capitalism by Laurie Penny—I show that these feminists acknowledge the disrupted sex binary, but have not produced texts that reflect this understanding. Whilst these authors admirably concern themselves with structural reasons for inequality—rather than blaming individual women—their treatment of complicit
women is wavering. They are scornful of powerful American Republican women and of ‘fun’ feminists, but sympathetic or unconcerned with women engaged in performed hegemonic sexuality. I argue that a consideration of female complicity is linked to the reimagining of categories for future feminisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-75
JournalJournal of International Women's Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Nov 2014


  • complicity
  • feminisms
  • postfeminism
  • anti-capitalist feminism
  • Nina Power
  • Laurie Penny


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