Gender Shock: Practicing Feminism on Two Continents

Hester Eisenstein, Author Beacon Press (MA) $18.95 (138p) ISBN 978-0-8070-6762-8
In 1980 feminist historian Eisenstein left an academic post in the U.S. to become an affirmative action officer in Australia. As a ``femocrat'' or feminist bureaucrat (a word of Australian coinage), she worked within the system to imbue public policy with ``women-centered'' values. In these interlinked lectures and articles marred by opaque academic prose, she portrays Australian feminists as more cosmopolitan, better read, more outspoken and more confrontational than their American counterparts. Down Under, femocrats ``perform a kind of feminist judo'' to bring about reforms. Currently a women's studies professor at the State University of New York, Eisenstein argues in one paper that feminist analysis of the family is upsetting to some because it lays bare the realities of rape, incest, child abuse and wife-beating. She calls for a ``commitment to optimism'' as a feminist political stance. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Paperback - 138 pages - 978-0-8070-6763-5
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