This page is for sharing readings on radical feminisms: articles, books, essays, etc.  Please either add them to the page here or suggest them in a comment below.

Weekly Readings

Summer ’10

Week 1

– no readings – introductions, getting to know each other and our desires for the class.

Week 2

– Tuesday, 7/13 – bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics (read the first six chapters, up to p. 36)

Week 3

Here are the readings for our meeting on Tuesday, 7/20, 5:30-7:00pm at True Colors bookstore:

1) The Introduction to Feminist Thought: A More Comprehensive Introduction by Rosemarie Tong (9 pages)

[to read more of the chapters of this book, you can download the full book here. for more info on the author, see here.]

2) “The_Gender_Knot: What Drives Patriarchy?” by Allan G. Johnson (11 pages)

[if you’re interested, check out more of his writings here, including a full book called The Gender Knot.]

Week 4

for our meeting on 7/27, 5:30-7pm @ True Colors, we are reading three short interviews with Minnesota feminists from a book called In the Company of Women (download here).

Here is some info on the chapters selected…

Carol M. Robertshaw – coming to feminism in early 70′s, learning to change her negative opinion of women. Discusses power in women’s unity, consciousness-raising and radical feminism, media, divisions between men and women, positive and negative opinions of motherhood etc.

Mary Ziegenhagen – gaining awareness in white middle-class suburbia in the 1960′s. Making small strides and motivating one another by empathy/forming groups. Learning that “feminism” is not a dirty word.

Laura Waterman Wittstock – feminism clashing with race. Reluctancy of women of color to jump on feminism for fear of being further marginalized. Speaks of conservative patterns in the American Indian community. Touches on class/age discrimination/access etc.

This is just 11 pages of reading, so if you’d like more for the week, I’d recommend reading a great article on consciousness-raising groups —  Building Coalitional Consciousness by Cricket Keating – or more of bell hooks’ Feminism is for Everybody.


Readings from the First session of the reading group (Spring ’10):

Week 1

One Dimensional Woman by Nina Power  (read pp.1-37)

Week 2

One Dimensional Woman by Nina Power (read pp. 38-69)

Building Coalitional Consciousness by Cricket Keating

Week 3

Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation by Silvia Federici (Download: Preface, Intro, and Chapter 1; Chapter 2; more soon) (for this week, read pp. 7-38 (preface, intro, and first half of ch. 1)

  • (from the back of the book): “Caliban and the Witch is a history of the body in the transition to capitalism. Moving from the peasant revolts of the late Middle Ages to the witch-hunts and the rise of mechanical philosophy, Federici investigates the capitalist rationalization of social reproduction. She shows how the battle against the rebel body and the conflict between body and mind are essential conditions for the development of labor power and self-ownership, two central principles of modern social organization.

“In the neoliberal era of postmodernism, the proletariat is whited-out from the pages of history. Silvia Federici recovers its historical substance by telling its story starting at the beginning, with the throes of its birth. This is a book of remembrance, of a trauma burned into the body of women, which left a scar on humanity’s memory as deep and painful as those caused by famine, slaughter and enslavement.
Federici shows that the birth of the proletariat required a war against women, inaugurating a new sexual pact and a new patriarchal era: the patriarchy of the wage. Firmly rooted in the history of the persecution of the witches and the disciplining of the body, her arguments explain why the subjugation of women was as crucial for the formation of the world proletariat as the enclosures of the land, the conquest and colonization of the ‘New World,’ and the slave trade.
Documenting the horrors of state terror against women, Federici has written a book truly of our times. Neither compromising nor condescending, Caliban and the Witch expresses an unfailing generosity of spirit and the dignity of a planetary scholar. It is both a passionate work of memory recovered and a hammer of humanity’s agenda.” – Peter Linebaugh, author of The London Hanged

Week 4

Read Caliban and the Witch up to p. 82.

Week 5

Catch up on Caliban and the Witch.  And, read a poem – June Jordan – “1978” (thanks to Laila for sharing this), and start reading some of  bell hooks’ Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politicsup to p. 18.

Week 6

Read bell hooks’ Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics – up to p. 43.

Potential Readings

Queer Theory, Gender Theory: An Instant Primer by Riki Wilchins

  • (from the back of the book): “A one-stop, no-nonsense introduction to the core of postmodern theory, particularly its impact on queer and gender studies. Nationally known gender activist Riki Wilchins combines straightforward prose with concrete examples from LGBT and feminist politics, as well as her own life, to guide the reader through the ideas that have forever altered our understanding of bodies, sex and desire. This is that rare postmodern theory book that combines accessibility, passion, personal experience and applied politics, noting at every turn why these ideas matter and how they can affect your daily life.”

Other suggestions? -> post ’em in the comments…

  1. Lowrah
    March 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Judith Butler: As a Jew, I was taught it was ethically imperative to speak up

    Philosopher, professor and author Judith Butler arrived in Israel this month, en route to the West Bank, where she was to give a seminar at Bir Zeit University, visit the theater in Jenin, and meet privately with friends and students. A leading light in her field, Butler chose not to visit any academic institutions in Israel itself. In the conversation below, conducted in New York several months ago, Butler talks about gender, the dehumanization of Gazans, and how Jewish values drove her to criticize the actions of the State of Israel.

  2. Lowrah
    March 12, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Feminist Friday: Equal Pay, or Equal Wealth?
    Examining the significant difference of income vs. wealth. The study is from 2007.

    “In other words, if you are a Black or Hispanic woman, your chance of getting and keeping any significant economic security prior to the age of 50 is extremely small. A white woman has a huge advantage over a woman of color, but still lags behind white men by 39%.”

  3. Lowrah
    March 15, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Just in case anyone would like more info on the pay vs. wealth issue, in a current context (special focus on women of color)

    On Thursday, members of the Congressional Black Caucus held a rare one-hour meeting with President Obama to pressure him to create jobs in the black community. Congresswoman Barbara Lee said, quote, “We talked about the desperation that we’re feeling in our communities throughout the country.”

    While the nation’s official unemployment rate stands at 9.7 percent, it is nearly 16 percent among African Americans and 12.4 percent among Latinos. The impact of the recession has also been particularly hard on African American and Latino workers due to the longstanding wealth gap in the country. For every dollar of wealth owned by the typical white family, the typical family of color owns only 16 cents. And for single women of color, the wealth gap is far wider.

    Earlier this week, the Insight Center for Community Economic Development released a report on the gender wealth gap to mark International Women’s Day.

  1. March 7, 2010 at 4:26 am

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