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The Dialectic of Sex

The Case for Feminist Revolution

The Dialectic of Sex 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. Firestone died in 2012, but her ideas live on through this extraordinary book.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux; March 2003
240 pages; ISBN 9781466833517
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Title: The Dialectic of Sex
Author: Shulamith Firestone
  • News
Feminism Is Its Own Worst Enemy - The Federalist
Wed, 31 Aug 2016 04:56:34 -0700
The FederalistFeminism Is Its Own Worst EnemyThe FederalistNotable among them is Shulamith Firestone, who in her 1970 book “The ...
My hero: Shulamith Firestone by Joanna Biggs - The Guardian
Sat, 09 May 2015 07:35:02 -0700
The GuardianMy hero: Shulamith Firestone by Joanna BiggsThe GuardianFirestone didn't cool down: at 22, she would set up the ...
What Kate Did - New Republic
Wed, 23 Mar 2016 05:47:43 -0700
New RepublicWhat Kate DidNew RepublicThe year 1970 saw a slew of feminist book publications, including Shulamith ...