The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Mar 5, 2003 - Social Science - 240 pages
3 Reviews

"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. Firestone died in 2012, but her ideas live on through this extraordinary book.

 

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User Review  - SeriousGrace - LibraryThing

I have to admit, many different parts of Firestone's book gave me pause. For example, the concept that war (specifically World War II) was a welcomed opportunity for women to be treated as equals was ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AriadneAranea - LibraryThing

With her uncompromisingly anti-family stance, Firestone is in many ways the antifeminists’ feminist: she attacks every holy cow including the Great Holy Cow, the family that so many social ... Read full review

Contents

On American Feminism
The Misguided Feminism
Down with Childhood
The Sexism of the Family of
Love
Demands and Speculations
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Shulamith Firestone was a founder of the women's liberation movement and editor of Notes, a journal of radical feminism. She lives in New York City.

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