The Politics of the Everyday: A Feminist Revision of the Public/Private Frame

JVF Conference Papers

According to Carole Pateman, the feminist critique of the dichotomy between public and private “is central to almost two centuries of feminist writing and political struggle; it is, ultimately what the feminist movement is about”.

This critique is probably most clearly articulated in second-wave feminists’ claim that “the personal is political”. Although the terms public and private are used quite differently in feminist debates, there are two assumptions that can be considered as common grounds. On one hand, the dichotomy itself is criticized as it implies a hierarchical, sexualized and gendered binary order.

On the other hand, the assumption of a clear distinction between these to spheres is called into question.

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