cover image Think Like a Feminist: The Philosophy Behind the Revolution

Think Like a Feminist: The Philosophy Behind the Revolution

Carol Hay. Norton, $25.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-324-00309-0

Hay (Kantianism, Liberalism, and Feminism), a philosophy professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, explores the philosophical frameworks of feminism and addresses the movement’s “PR problem” in this accessible, idea-centered account. After sketching the histories of first-, second-, and third-wave feminism as a series of “course corrections” to make the movement more intersectional and inclusive, Hays examines how the stereotypes of “Angry Feminism” and its mirror opposite, “Girl Power Feminism,” allow those invested in maintaining the status quo to rob feminism of its “radical potential.” She analyzes feminist ideas related to oppression, privilege, and identity through philosophical metaphors such as “The Birdcage” and “The Panopticon”; tracks historical conceptions of sex, gender, and gender roles; discusses ideological differences between “anti-porn” and “sex positive” feminists; highlights women’s internalized objectification as a roadblock to advancing feminism; dissects the meaning of “rape culture”; and calls on women and men to examine the subconscious ways in which they support the patriarchy. Hay succeeds in clarifying abstract—and often sobering—concepts with straightforward terminology and a dash of irreverent humor. This crisp, well-informed primer on feminist theory will resonate with young women and experienced activists alike. (Sept.)