Competition: A Feminist Taboo?

Competition: A Feminist Taboo?

by Nell Irvin Painter, Nell Irvin Painter
     
 

Why is it so hard for women to talk about competition? As the editors of this original anthology state: "Feminists have long been fiercely critical of male power games, yet we have often ignored or concealed our own conflcits over money, control, position, and recognition. It is time to end the silence." The book opens with Letty Cottin Pogrebin's essay

Overview

Why is it so hard for women to talk about competition? As the editors of this original anthology state: "Feminists have long been fiercely critical of male power games, yet we have often ignored or concealed our own conflcits over money, control, position, and recognition. It is time to end the silence." The book opens with Letty Cottin Pogrebin's essay "Competing with Women" from the 1972 debut issue of Ms. Part Two exposes the reality of competition in daily life-in academia, in the corporate world, in athletics, in the family, and in cross-class and cross-cultural relationships. Part Three offers feminist answers to the questions "How do we obliterate competition-or find ways to make it benign or useful-or replace it with other idealogies and behavior?" Other contributors include Evelyn Fox Keller, Helene Moglen, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Tono McNaron, Erika Duncan, Tvonne, Maria Cristina Lugones, and Elizabeth V. Spelman.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Collected here are works of fiction, poetry, reportage and theory by women who wrote in the '30s. Some of the women are well known. For example, Josephine Herbst offers a vivid account of a visit to ``North America's first Soviet'' in Cuba as well as a short story, also set in Cuba, about a leftist American reporter whose husband has left her for another woman. Other authors represented here are so unknown that their biographies note only various journals in which their work appeared. Among the more interesting pieces are Edith Manuel Durham's short story ``Deepening Dusk,'' about a young woman's confusion over her racial identity, and Ramona Lowe's ``The Woman in the Window,'' about how a black cook must justify to her children her undignified but relatively well-paying work situation. Other contributors include Meridel Le Sueur, Agnes Smedley, Tess Slesinger, Muriel Rukeyser, Tillie Olsen and Anna Louise Strong. While informative, the editors' comments have a tone of cheerless dogma. Still, this is an important, enlightening contribution to feminist and leftist history. (February)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Radical literary histories of the tumultuous Thirties commonly emphasize the prevalent masculinist ideology that informed political and aesthetic practices then. In contrast, this volume excavates the stories, poems, and reportage of women writers whose work originally appeared in now-defunct Left journals. The pieces, ranging from accounts of labor organizing to examinations of racism and the economics of housework, reflect the diversity of women's concerns on the Left prior to ``second-wave'' feminism. This essential collection should inspire a critical reevaluation of the recent literary and political past informed by the feminist strategies of that period and our own. Mollie Brodsky, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780935312744
Publisher:
Feminist Press at The City University of New York
Publication date:
06/28/1987
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.89(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.82(d)

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