Today on Tablet, Nona Willis Aronowitz reads Shulamith Firestone and sees her brilliance, prescience, and a sense of urgency that feminists today lack.
As it turned out, my reread would be eerily timed—just two months before Firestone died in late August. On the surface, Firestone is what Katie Roiphe would call a “dead-serious” feminist, heeding her own call for a “smile boycott,” yet I laughed joyfully as I made my way through the book. Partly because of her wry parenthetical asides, usually in the form of archetypical 1960s refrains uttered by resigned women or unevolved men, and partly because she predicted everything from in-vitro fertilization to the super-fashionable notion of a genderless society to the mommy wars, because she pre-empted Laura Kipnis’ polemic against romantic love by 35 years, because she summed up the entirety of Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth with one offhanded comment about how Cosmo and Vogue were fanning the “cultural disease” of the “search for glamour.”
It’s a really compelling piece. Enjoy!