Most feminist theorists over the last forty years have held that a basic tenet of feminism is that women as a group are oppressed. The concept of oppression has never had a very broad meaning in liberal discourse, however, and with the rise of neo-liberalism since 1980 it has even less currency in public debate. This article argues that, while we may still believe women are oppressed, for pragmatic purposes Michel Foucault’s concept of practices of freedom is a more effective way to characterize feminist theory and politics.

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Copyright © 2013, Queensland University of Technology. This article first appeared in Foucault Studies 16 (2013), 54-73.

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