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The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution Paperback – March 5, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0374527877 ISBN-10: 0374527873

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (March 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374527873
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374527877
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Dialectic of Sex is a must-have for those interested in feminist theory, both past and present. It's reappearance now, during yet another period of 'ridicule' towards women's rights, is perhaps even more pertinent than its first publication."
-Kathleen Hanna, founding member of the Riot Grrrls movement

"The Dialectic of Sex is a truly visionary work. Thirty years later, many of Firestone's ideas remain startlingly relevant, making Dialectic essential reading not only for its value as feminist history but its contribution to feminism's future.
-Lisa Miya-Jervis, editor and publisher Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture

"Although Gen X women like to fancy ourselves the "freshmakers" of feminism, Shulamith Firestone reminds us that sisters have been "keeping it real" long before that expression was even invented. These power-packed chapters are live and direct, with a cultural shelf life that spans well into our times."
-Ophira Edut, editor Body Outlaws: Young Women Write about Body Image and Identity, founder and publisher HUES magazine

About the Author

Shulamith Firestone was a founder of the women’s liberation movement and editor of Notes, a journal of radical feminism. She lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

"Racism is a sexual phenomenon... racism is sexism extended."
Steven H Propp
So, in that sense, she was a bit of a visionary, but overall, kind of hard to read.
Rachel Ravensky
The kind of book that makes you feel way smarter once you've read it.
Itle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Moravec on July 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
Shulamith Firestone's now classic work was an important influence on, and manifestation of, the 1970's women's movement. Firestone, an active participant in the Chicago and New York radical feminist scenes, captures the spirit of the movement, and the historical moement, in this work. Combining a material and feminist analysis of women's status in Western society, Firestone makes a case for revolution that may seem extreme to today's reader. However, this text is essential for understanding 1970's radical feminism and it is wonderful to have it back in print.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By paul.lai@yale.edu on December 13, 1998
Format: Paperback
Shulamith Firestone's 1970 text calling for a radical re-thinking of the basis of modern social structures remains a powerful analysis of the state of patriarchy and the feminist movements of the Twentieth Centry. Firestone's central claim is that only in abolishing the sexual differences rooted in biology and reproduction can women, and by extension all humans, free themselves of the sex caste system which privileges men over women and children. In her book, she takes on important thinkers such as Freud and Marx, exposing their oversights and/or oppositions to a true revolution of sex. She ultimately looks to technology (cybernation) as the means by which humans can finally take control of reproductive necessity and correct the accident of Nature that insists on sexual difference and differential power dynamics.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on September 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Shulamith Firestone (born 1945) is a Jewish, Canadian-born feminist, who was a founding member of the New York Radical Women, Redstockings, and New York Radical Feminists.
Here are some quotations from this 1970 book:

"Freudianism subsumed the place of feminism as the lesser of two evils." (Pg. 69)
"Women and children are always mentioned in the same breath... The special tie women have with children is recognized by everyone. I submit, however, that the nature of this bond is no more than shared oppression." (Pg. 81)
"Racism is a sexual phenomenon... racism is sexism extended." (Pg. 122)
"I draw three conclusions based on these differences: 1) That men can't love... 2) That women's 'clinging' behavior is necessitated by their objective social situation. 3) That this situation has not changed significantly from what it ever was." (Pg. 152)
"I submit, then, that the first demand for any alternative system must be: 1) The freeing of women from the tyranny of their reproductive biology by every means available, and the diffusion of the childbearing and childrearing role to the society as a whole, men as well as women... 2) The full self-determination, including economic dependence, of both women and children... 3) The total integration of women and children into all aspects of the larger society... 4) The freedom of all women and children to do whatever they wish to do sexually." (Pg. 236)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By toby on December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
i wish they would re release this book. its by far my favorite feminist book. unfortionatly you either have to search really hard (i found mine in a bargain lot in an auction) or pay out the ear for it. It is to me the most important book in womens studies i have found. that and the feminine mystique. its also never been released on kindle (hint hint amazon, id so love to have it on there because my copy is probably as old as the movement it was written on jk).
people go to feminism for a multitude of reasons and in doing so seek knowledge of its origins. to me the dialectic of sex is one of the most empowering books ive ever read. shulamith firestone is so raw and bold in this rock in books of feminist studies. so much more than i could imagine for that time period. if you are new to feminism or are an old hand at it i would especially recommend looking for a copy of the dialectic of sex because this book is life changing. i wouldnt part with mine for anything.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Townsend Palmer on May 29, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
you may not agree with her, but she was an excellent writer and a brilliant, brilliant mind, one that unfortunately was so bright it ended up as a supernova. her book of stories, "airless spaces," is in some ways better, and also a must read. i loved this woman in the 70s, and i love her more now. i won't apologize for it. any feminist worth his/her salt should read this if they haven't already. it's just plain required to fill in the whole gender roles/struggle/gap puzzle!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Meghan on December 4, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every feminist should read this. Ignore anything you've heard about it being 'crazy' - it's not, it's radical, but it should be. It presents new ideas that our especially important now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dylan Molho on January 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent read, brilliant author, and radical thoughts. Exactly what every woman and especially man needs to read in this increasingly modern world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Itle on June 25, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You don't have to read De Beauvoir to understand feminism. Firestone is actually more up-to-date. She pushes the French lady's thread of though even further. I didn't give a damn about feminism until I read this book. Now I understand that many women talk without understanding the implications of what they say.
The writing style is pretty straightforward, there's a lot of humor, but since Shulamith uses the Marxist mode of analysis to analyze sex discrimination, at times you can get lost (it can be complicated.)
The kind of book that makes you feel way smarter once you've read it.
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