The problematic relationship of feminism and neoliberalism

Raili Marling

While internationally there is ample criticism of neoliberalism in feminist and gender studies literature, it is missing in today’s Estonia, probably because of the wide acceptance of neoliberalist ideals in Estonian society. Because of the silent acceptance of neoliberalism, we especially, need its critical analyses, including from a gendered perspective. The article first, on the basis of international experience, gives a survey of the problematic influence of neoliberalism on feminist movements and the co-optation of feminist vocabulary in the neoliberalist context. The neoliberalization of feminisms (be it strategic or unconscious) and the depoliticization of feminist vocabulary has undermined the feminist project of solidarity and justice. The article sketches the influence of neoliberalism on feminism in Estonia and calls for a greater awareness of the language used in feminist debates.