By Miriam Schneir
Listed here are the basic historic writings of feminism. lots of those works, lengthy out of print or forgotten in what Miriam Schneir describes as a male-dominated literary culture, are eventually introduced out of obscurity and into the sunshine of up to date research and feedback. incorporated are greater than 40 choices, coveting a hundred and fifty years of writings on women's fight for freedom -- from the yank Revolution to the 1st many years of the 20 th century.
This up-to-date, wide-ranging assortment encompasses the the most important problems with women's oppression. a stunning measure of continuity among the information of the previous and the recent feminism is obvious all through. In her choice, Miriam Schneir has by way of handed writings that deal completely with the superseded subject of suffrage so that it will concentration realization at the nonetheless unsolved feminist difficulties: marriage as an software of oppression; woman's wish to keep watch over her personal physique; the industrial independence of ladies; the quest for selfhood.
This richly varied assortment comprises excerpts from books, essays, speeches, files, letters, in addition to poetry, drama, and fiction. broad commentaries by way of the editor aid the reader see the old context of every choice.
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Extra resources for Feminism: The Essential Historical Writings
From her dubious hypothesis Person reaches the following conclusions: "Many women have the capacity to abstain from sex without negative psychological consequences. " I hope that in the current conservative climate Person is having second thoughts, but I'm not counting on it. " No doubt about it—when one must endure abstinence, repression, or suppression, the capacity to adapt does come in handy. But somehow I always imagined that feminism was about rebelling, not adapting. Lust Horizons 9 It has been years since feminist sexual conservatism (a contradiction in terms, really) has had to face any sustained or organized opposition, but that is beginning to change.
Finally, the sexual revolution did not seriously challenge the taboo on lesbianism (or homosexuality in general). At its inception, the women's liberation movement was dominated by young women who had grown up during or since the emergence of sexual libertarian ideology; many radical feminists came out of the left and the counterculture, where that ideology was particularly strong. Unsurprisingly, one of the first issues to surface in the movement was women's pent-up rage at men's one-sided, exploitative view of sexual freedom.
In my view, the reason for this development (or at least its catalyst) was the rise of the new right. O of its energy to making a radical critique of liberalism. " But as liberalism fell apart, so did the apparent feminist consensus on sex. Confronted with a right-wing backlash bent on reversing social acceptance of non-marital, non-procreative sex, feminists like me, who saw sexual liberalism as deeply flawed by sexism but nonetheless a source of crucial gains for women, found themselves at odds with feminists who dismissed the sexual revolution as monolithically sexist and shared many of the attitudes of conservative moralists.