Why Feminism?: Gender, Psychology, Politics

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9780745623474: Why Feminism?: Gender, Psychology, Politics

Three decades after the remarkable resurgence of feminism, gender issues have become ubiquitous in public debate. For some, feminism is the favorite scapegoat for multiple social ills; for others, the greatest success story of the closing century. The Janus face of feminism in the media reflects the competing images of women's lives today. Feminists themselves hold sharply opposing views on the success or failures of three decades of women's activism. Why Feminism? looks at the shifts in feminist thinking from the brash emergence of Women's Liberation at the close of the 1960s to the diverse and discordant feminisms of recent decades. Exploring feminism's troubled relations with psychology and psychoanalysis, the rise of new evolutionary theory, the impact of queer theorizing on gender categories, controversies over memory and trauma, and increasing anxieties about men and masculinity, Why Feminism? illustrates the continuing provocation and significance of feminist inquiry, laying out potentialities and pitfalls for the century ahead.

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About the Author:

Lynne Segal is professor of psychology and gender studies at Birkback College, University of London. Her books include Is the Future Female? Troubled Thoughts on Contemporary Feminism; Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Changing Men; Straight Sex: The Politics of Pleasure; and New Sexual Agendas.

Review:

Lynne Segal is one of the most capacious readers of feminism and sexuality studies I have ever encountered. Rooted in a socialist feminism and open to new theory, she brings forward the best of the former tradition and sets it into a dynamic and provocative dialogue with contemporary scholarship and activism, including psychoanalysis in both its social and clinical dimensions. Her writing is marvelously clear, to the point, and trenchant. And she brings us all into a critical conversation that we sometimes did not know we could have. The passion, intelligence, and intellectual candor of this book are exemplary.

(Judith Butler, author of Gender Trouble and Subjects of Desire)

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