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Romantic love has challenged and vexed feminist thought from its origins. Judging from the shelves of books advising women on love problems, there seems to be an ongoing difficulty in maintaining equality in romantic relationships. Does romance weaken or empower women? Why do women seem overwhelmingly attracted to romantic love in spite of raised consciousness in other areas of life that is a legacy of feminism? Have women always been seen as the sex which most seeks love and is best suited for love?
These are some of the questions
Introductions to each entry and section clarify the emerging themes of each era and of separate disciplines, while representing the views of traditionalists and anti-romance second-wave feminists alike.
Contributors include: Charlotte Bronte, Barbara Bross, Eliza Southgate Bowne, Rita Mae Brown, Andreas Capellanus, Patricia Hill Collins, Simone de Beauvoir, Christine Delphy, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, Lillian Faderman, Shulamith Firestone, Moderata Fonte, Mary Gaitskill, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Emma Goldman, Vivian Gornick, Germaine Greer, Lynne Harne, bell hooks, Karen Horney, Carolyn Heilbrun, Audre Lorde, Tania Modleski, Gloria Naylor, Mary Poovey, Janice Radway, William Robinson, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jane Rule, Barbara Ryan, Ann Snitow, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Gloria Steinem, Mary Wollstonecraft, Victoria Woodhull, Virginia Woolf.