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

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The progress in women?s rights brought about by the feminist activism of the 1960s through the early 1980s is today confronted with a major political backlash. For Who?s Afraid of Feminism?, editors Ann Oakley and Juliet Mitchell have commissioned new work by Carol Gilligan, Carolyn Heilbrun, and a distinguished, international group of feminist thinkers to explore the diverse territories that feminist thought and activism have affected over recent years, and the new questions ...

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1st Edition(PB), Fine- Trade Size Paperback. 1 pages have a crease at top fore-edge corners, o.w. clean, bright and tight. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing, etc. ISBN 1565843851

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Overview

The progress in women’s rights brought about by the feminist activism of the 1960s through the early 1980s is today confronted with a major political backlash. For Who’s Afraid of Feminism?, editors Ann Oakley and Juliet Mitchell have commissioned new work by Carol Gilligan, Carolyn Heilbrun, and a distinguished, international group of feminist thinkers to explore the diverse territories that feminist thought and activism have affected over recent years, and the new questions that have arisen during that process.

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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565843851
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 9/1/1997
  • Pages: 291
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.29 (h) x 1.01 (d)

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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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword
Introduction to the American Edition 1
1 Getting Civilized 13
2 A Brief History of Gender 29
3 American Gothic: Feminism, Melodrama and the Backlash 56
4 Women, Ethnicity and Empowerment 77
5 Thoughts of a Latecomer On Being a Lesbian in the Backlash 99
6 The End of a Long Marriage 111
7 Homophobia and Hegemony: A Case of Psychoanalysis 129
8 (Anti)feminism after Communism 144
9 'Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don't:' Psychological and Social Constraints on Motherhood in Contemporary Europe 162
10 Dangerous Design: Asian Women and The New Landscapes of Fashion 187
11 Feminism, Fatherhood and the Family in Britain 200
12 Combating the Backlash: How Swedish Women Won the War 224
Notes 245
Notes on Contributors 289
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