Date of Award

5-13-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Women's Studies

First Advisor

Megan Sinnott

Second Advisor

Tiffany King

Third Advisor

Juliana Kubala

Abstract

This thesis identifies a political tactic I call “personalizing the political.” Personalizing the political inverts the responsibility of social ills from social institutions, the economy, and governance into personal problems created by individuals. Personalizing the political inverts the Marxist feminist understanding of “the personal is political.” Ultimately, neoliberal feminism has prompted personalizing the political and weakening feminist praxis. I identify personalizing the political in the response to the “incel killer,” Elliot Rodger, who committed a spree-killing in Isla Vista, California in 2014, which frames him as a “lone-wolf terrorist,” or mentally ill, rather than a fascist political actor. I take on analytic philosopher Kate Manne’s response to Rodger, who also finds him a political actor. However, Manne too personalizes the political through her lack of feminist praxis. I argue for a robust socialist feminist praxis in the face of 21st century fascism.

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