Letters to a Young Feminist(cloth)

Phyllis Chesler, Author Seal Press (CA) $18 (176p) ISBN 978-1-56858-093-7
A call to arms in epistolary form, this is an evenhanded if occasionally polemical assessment of the feminist movement's accomplishments and what remains to be done before a feminist vision of society can be realized. Chesler (Women and Madness) doesn't mince words when detailing the ways in which women's lives are still circumscribed by cultural conventions, but her empathetic tone mitigates against angry self-righteousness or condemnation of antifeminists. On the contrary, while she insists that a proactive feminist movement is essential to the well-being of all women, Chesler also argues that feminists themselves must renew their efforts to be sympathetic to a wide range of viewpoints and agendas. Above all, she stresses feminism should stand for tolerance, self-empowerment and resistance to all forms of oppression. She covers a lot of ground--marriage, reproductive rights, sexual abuse, political oppression, career opportunities--which necessarily makes for cursory treatment of many topics. Yet Chesler's analysis is cogent throughout, and these essays are laced with compelling nuggets from one who has been on the front lines of the feminist movement for several decades. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1997
Release date: 12/01/1997
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