Ashleigh Harris


This article discusses the ways in which feminist politics have been dissolved since the 1980s, most notably in the popular cultural sphere, so as to make feminism appear anachronistic. It considers how various discourses and texts have sought to efface the political impetus of feminism through claims to political correctness. Young women are thus interpolated into a more insidious patriarchy that re-inscribes female shame, guilt, passivity and silence in both professional and personal contexts, at the same as it espouses the discourse of equal rights. Many are not only apologizing for the equal rights that been “granted” to them, but have also become apologists for this “benevolent” patriarchy. This article opens the debate as to how feminist politics may be revived given the ubiquity of these de-politicising discourses.

Author Biography

Ashleigh Harris, Lecturer, School of Literature and Language Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa