Shulamith Firestone (1945-2012): feminist radical in the east village

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Author: Nicholas Birns
Date: July 2014
From: Femspec(Vol. 14, Issue 2)
Publisher: Femspec
Document Type: Biography
Length: 863 words

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A few years ago, a valued colleague of mine was castigated by others as a "60s feminist." I thought this absurd (aside from the repugnantly pejorative attitude towards feminism this evinced). Feminism really began in the early 1970s; radical movements of the 1960s, on the other hand, were often highly masculine and misogynistic in tone.

But Shulamith Firestone really was a 60s feminist. She grew up in Kansas City and St. Louis and was educated in Chicago and Cleveland--specifically, for the Clevelandites out there reading this, the Telshe Yeshiva in Wickliffe--but began her feminist activism in New York in the late 1960s when it was as little on the mainstream media radar screen as anti-war protests were during the Korean War. The Dialectic of Sex (1970) is an extraordinary book, one of huge importance in intellectual history. French feminists like Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray, are rightly seen as world philosophical figures, but American feminists such as Firestone, Kate Millett, and Dorothy Dinnerstein also deserve this recognition. Most immediately, Firestone anticipated all of what is now called "cyborgian feminism." She imagined new possibilities for women--and for everybody--not bound by biological destiny. Now that mobile phones are almost an indispensable part of our bodies, and that different sexualities and gender identities are at least in times...

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Source Citation
Birns, Nicholas. "Shulamith Firestone (1945-2012): feminist radical in the east village." Femspec, vol. 14, no. 2, 2014, p. 69+. Accessed 6 May 2021.
  

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