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Who's Afraid of Feminism?: Seeing Through the Backlash
     

Who's Afraid of Feminism?: Seeing Through the Backlash

by Ann Oakley, Juliet Mitchell (Editor)
 
Has the situation of women improved significantly since the outpouring of activism in the 1960s and '70s? Has what's come to be known as the "backlash" erased women's gains and turned back the clock? Ann Oakley and Juliet Mitchell have assembled a distinguished, international group of feminist thinkers to tackle the issues confronting the contemporary women's movement

Overview

Has the situation of women improved significantly since the outpouring of activism in the 1960s and '70s? Has what's come to be known as the "backlash" erased women's gains and turned back the clock? Ann Oakley and Juliet Mitchell have assembled a distinguished, international group of feminist thinkers to tackle the issues confronting the contemporary women's movement. They challenge the myth that women are enjoying equal privilege to men in the workplace and in the home, and examine the resurgence of determinist thinking.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A mature and thoughtful collection of original essays on feminism in the 1990s, edited by two leading feminist scholars.

Oakly and Mitchell, the British editors of two previous collections on feminism (one in 1976 and one in 1986), return for another tenth-year state-of-the-movement report. Despite the high-profile backlash against feminism that they refer to in their subtitle, what they discover is not wholly disheartening. In fact, given the caliber of essayists they've assembled here, the present state of feminism, and its future, seems almost rosy. Carol Gilligan, the author of In a Different Voice, eloquently argues for the necessity of better incorporating women's voices into society at large. Carolyn Heilbrun talks of women's uneasy romance with a masculine literary tradition that has largely ignored them and with an academic establishment that is still shockingly inhospitable to them. And in a wonderful overview, editor Oakly traces the history of gender within the feminist movement. This is, in some ways, a feminism that we're comfortable with: The writers lash out mainly at the status quo, patriarchy, and the right. The content of many of the other pieces assembled here, however, proves that feminism is going through a difficult transitional period, one in which many of the movement's elder stateswomen are duking it out among themselves, and a younger generation of women is emerging that feels dissociated from the more vocal feminism of the 1970s. Some of the most interesting work here reflects that turbulence, such as Margaret Walters's lighthearted but critical study of sexual "melodrama" in feminism, which highlights some striking similarities between archenemies Catharine MacKinnon and Camille Paglia. Other essays focus on feminism, and anti-feminism, in Britain, Sweden, and post-Communist Eastern Europe.

A useful anthology, providing the kind of critical self- awareness and vigor that will help to keep feminism alive, exciting, and deeply relevant.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565843844
Publisher:
New Press, The
Publication date:
09/01/1997
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.18(d)

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Meet the Author


Ann Oakley is a professor of sociology at the University of London. Her previous books include Gender on Planet Earth and Experiments in Knowing (both published by The New Press), The Men’s Room, The Captured Womb, Subject Women, Becoming a Mother, Woman’s Work, The Sociology of Housework, and Sex, Gender and Society.

Juliet Mitchell is a psychoanalyst and currently A.D. White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. She is also a university lecturer at Cambridge University and Fellow of Jesus College.

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