The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution by Shulamith Firestone

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“No one can understand how feminism has evolved without reading this radical, inflammatory second-wave landmark.” Naomi Wolf

Originally published in 1970, when Shulamith Firestone was just twenty-five years old, and going on to become a bestseller, The Dialectic of Sex was the first book of the women’s liberation movement to put forth a feminist theory of politics.

Beginning with a look at the radical and grassroots history of the first wave (with its foundation in the abolition movement of the time), Firestone documents its major victory, the granting of the vote to women in 1920, and the fifty years of ridicule that followed. She goes on to deftly synthesize the work of Freud, Marx, de Beauvoir, and Engels to create a cogent argument for feminist revolution. Identifying women as a caste, she declares that they must seize the means of reproduction for as long as women (and only women) are required to bear and rear children, they will be singled out as inferior. Ultimately she presents feminism as the key radical ideology, the missing link between Marx and Freud, uniting their visions of the political and the personal.

In the wake of recent headlines bemoaning women’s squandered fertility and the ongoing debate over the appropriate role of genetics in the future of humanity, The Dialectic of Sex is revealed as remarkably relevant to today’s society, a testament to Shulamith Firestone’s startlingly prescient vision.

 

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Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence – Adrienne Rich

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“Women have married because it was necessary, in order to survive economically, in order to have children who would not suffer economic deprivation or social ostracism, in order to remain respectable, in order to do what was expected of women because coming out of “abnormal” childhoods they wanted to feel “normal,” and because heterosexual romance has been represented as the great female adventure, duty, and fulfillment. We may faithfully or ambivalently have obeyed the institution, but our feelings – and our sensuality – have not been tamed
or contained within it.”
― Adrienne RichCompulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

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The Cancer Journals – Audre Lorde

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Moving between journal entry, memoir, and exposition, Audre Lorde fuses the personal and political as she reflects on her experience coping with breast cancer and a radical mastectomy. Includes photos and tributes to Lorde written after her death in 1992.

“Grief, terror, courage, the passion for survival and for more than survival, are here in the searchings of a great poet.” —Adrienne Rich

“This book teaches me that with one breast or none, I am still me.” —Alice Walker

“The forthrightness and ferocity with which Audre Lorde greeted every social injustice is in full force in this courageous exploration.” —Amazon.com

 

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Are Women Human?: And Other International Dialogues – Catharine A. MacKinnon

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Exposing the consequences and significance of the systematic maltreatment of women, and its systemic condonation, this book takes us into the heart of the international law of conflict to ask – and reveal – why the international community can rally against terrorists’ violence, but not against violence against women.

 

 

 

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