In this Essay, Higgins explores the various uses of the public/private distinction in feminist theorizing. She suggests that feminist attacks on the public/private line tend to overstate the threat that the concept poses to women's equality and to understate the potential value of the distinction in feminist theory. Acknowledging that, despite thoroughgoing theoretical critiques, the public/private line persists in practice, Higgins offers a qualified revival of the distinction in feminist theory and suggests ways of refocusing and refining it to respond to existing critiques.

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