Death of a Revolutionary
By Susan Faludi
The New Yorker
The ending is about the funeral rites for Shulamith Firestone
Firestone was buried, in a traditional Orthodox funeral, in a Long Island cemetery, where her maternal grandparents are interred. Ten male relatives made up a minyan. None of her feminist comrades were invited. “At the end of the day, the old-time religion asserted itself,” Tirzah said. Ezra [her brother] gave a eulogy. He lives in Brooklyn, where he works as an insurance salesman, but he hadn’t spoken to Shulamith in years, and he broke down several times as he told how she, more than anyone else in the family, had tended to him as a child and taught him compassion. He recalled a story she told him when he was a boy, about a man on a train who realized that he had dropped a glove on the platform and, as the train left the station, dropped the other glove from the window, so that someone could have a pair. Then he lamented Shulamith’s “tragic” failure to make a “good marriage” and have children “who would be devoted to her.”
When [her sister] Tirzah’s turn came to give a eulogy, she addressed Ezra. “I said to him, ‘Excuse me, but with all due respect, Shulie was a model for Jewish women and girls everywhere, for women and girls everywhere. She had children—she influenced thousands of women to have new thoughts, to lead new lives. I am who I am, and a lot of women are who they are, because of Shulie.’ ”
“even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins” — Walter Benjamin Theses on the Philosophy of History
Faith Wilding Where is Feminism in Cyberfeminism?
“Feminism” (or more properly, “feminisms”) has been understood as a historical–and contemporary–transnational movement for justice and freedom for women, which depends on women’s activist participation in networked local, national, and international groups (8). It focuses on the material, political, emotional, sexual, and psychic conditions arising from women’s differentialized social construction and gender roles.
(8) Using the term “feminism” is very different from using the term “women”–although perhaps one should consider using the term “cyberwomanism,” which acknowledges the critique of racist white feminism so justly made by Audrey Lorde, Alice Walker, bell hooks, and others.
Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex
Children, then, are not freer than adults. They are burdened by a wish fantasy in direct proportion to the restraints of their narrow lives; with an unpleasant sense of their own physical inadequacy and ridiculousness; with constant shame about their dependence, economic and otherwise (“Mother, may I?”); and humiliation concerning their natural ignorance of practical affairs. Children are repressed at every waking minute. Childhood is hell.
Go read the whole book. Don’t take my word for it.
And so for day 2176