The Dialectic of Sex

The Dialectic of Sex : The Case for Feminist Revolution

3.92 (2,195 ratings by Goodreads)
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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. The Dialectic of Sex is 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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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 140 x 210 x 22mm | 229g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1784780529
  • 9781784780524
  • 139,817

Review quote

"Betty Friedan proposed letting someone else make the bread; Firestone imagines a new society[...] With a name like Shulamith Firestone, how could you not change the world?" Joanna Biggs, Guardian "Written at fever pitch over the space of several months, The Dialectic of Sex is a visionary document that theorizes 'sex' as a category of gender apartheid: that is, the systematic segregation and enforced social, political and economic discrimination against women in society." Jenni Sorkin, Frieze "No one can understand how feminism has evolved without reading this radical, inflammatory second-wave landmark." Naomi Wolf "A must-have for those interested in feminist theory, both past and present. Its reappearance now, during yet another period of 'ridicule' towards women's rights, is perhaps even more pertinent than its first publication." - Kathleen Hanna, founding member of the riot grrrl movement "Without so much as a single fanny joke or wacky dating anecdote, The Dialectic of Sex gripped and electrifed thousands of people, giving the so-called Second Wave of feminism much of its initial impetus and energy." - New Statesman "Firestone's vision of a future without natural inequality or the nuclear family is breathtaking in its scope as well as in its conviction that technology holds the key to the emancipation of women and children." - Nina Power "A landmark manifesto." Susan Faludi, New Yorker
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About Shulamith Firestone

Shulamith Firestone was a founder of the women's liberation movement and editor of Notes, a journal of radical feminism. She died in 2012.
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Rating details

2,195 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 35% (761)
4 34% (754)
3 22% (487)
2 6% (122)
1 3% (71)
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