In the contemporary U.S., the feminist movement has been so thoroughly intertwined with the pro-choice movement that the rhetoric of choice has become a common way to talk, more generally, about women’s liberation. And women’s liberation, as we have demonstrated (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), is frequently co-opted for the purposes of selling women all sorts of products (including those in decided conflict with mainstream feminism, like this one and this one).
A reader, Tracy in Canada, saw these ads at Sears. In them, the phrase “the right to choose” is used to invoke feminist ideals and applied to the right to select a “gift adapted to your beauty concerns.”
NEW! (Nov. ’09): Kristyn G. sent in this commercial for a cable company in India that also co-opts the right to choose…in this case, the right to choose her own husband:
Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.