It’s been semi-announced already, but for those who prefer a structured warning to subtle intimation:
It is written that there will probably transpire, at this here blog, on or about March 1, 2007, a discussion of sorts on a pre-ordained topic. While the future is, ultimately, unknowable, that topic is foreseen to be Shulamith Firestone’s gripping 1970 classic, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution.
As even the semi-conscious reader has already deduced, Firestone’s book has been no small influence on the whole Twisty dealio. In it the author suggests, to my unbounded satisfaction, that Freud and Marx may have been on to something, but that their own sexist pig dudessentialism doomed them to failure. She makes the astonishing claim that kids are human. She notes that women will never bust out of sexual slavery until the traditional method of reproduction, with its attendant “family chauvinism” and caste system, is eliminated. For the finale, she winds up with an appealing sci-fi speculation on the love-fest nature of post-revolutionary society. To wit:
“A cybernetic communism would abolish economic classes, and all forms of labour exploitation, by granting all people a livelihood based only on material needs. Eventually work (drudge jobs) would be eliminated in favour of (complex) play, activity done for its own sake, by adults as well as children. With the disappearance of motherhood, and the obstructing incest taboo, sexuality would be re-integrated, allowing love to flow unimpeded.”
A peerless confection.
For 30 years Firestone’s oeuvre consisted of this single book. In 1997 she published a work of fiction, Airless Spaces, which is also fair game for purposes of discussion. According to the lore, there also exists a 30-minute pseudo-radfemumentary, “Shulie.” I ain’t seen it, but it might add some pungency to this whole Shulathon, if it could be gotten hold of.
By the way, it has been suggested that participants in the reading party put a sock in it until the official Discussion Date. I regret it is unlikely that I will be able to go a whole month without some sort of Shulamithian allusion, reference, or pirated idea. I never have yet.
Also by the way, to those who complain that thinky stuff like utopian speculation and patriarchy-blaming don’t offer immediate gratification in terms of “a solution,” here’s a suggestion for subversive activism that will have an instantaneous and profound effect on you and everyone who encounters you: how’s about you personally eradicate your own crippling dependence on femininity from your own individual selves? Revolution begins at home!