Batsleer, Janet and McMahon, Gráinne (2017) Girls, ‘leaning in’ and faux-empowerment. In: Who Runs the World? Girls, Leadership and Celebrity, 16th June 2017, Senate House, London. (Unpublished)

Young women and girls are bombarded daily with messages about leadership and empowerment. They are encouraged to believe that if they just speak up, work hard and 'lean in', they will be able to attain equality in the workplace, in the home, and in wider society. Feminist activists and scholars argue, however, that these messages bring about competitive individualism and faux-empowerment, and capitulate to the patriarchal, capitalist superstructure. Feminist critiques maintain that a breakdown of patriarchal structures remains crucial for gender equality and that we must not lose sight of this 'longer game'. Batsleer and McMahon will discuss findings from their ongoing research in Manchester, which is exploring young women and social and political activism.

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