Feminist Fatale

Paula Kamen, Author Dutton Books $21.95 (404p) ISBN 978-1-55611-256-0
Here's a book that can't be judged by its title: undisciplined in its research and organization, it reveals little about ``the future of the women's movement.'' Kamen, a reporter for the Kenosha News (Wisc.), selected her 236 interviewees in random fashion; only 28 identified themselves as feminists. Kamen's ``twentysomethings'' do establish that not everyone considers the word ``feminist'' a compliment and that younger feminists think older feminists should relinquish center stage more often. (She mentions women's studies faculties as a case in point of how ``for young women, the subtle message . . . could be that this feminism stuff is an older woman's thing.''p. 110 ) But frequently the author relegates her interviewees to providing pithy observations as she wends her way through a passel of ``feminist concerns,'' like the ``glass ceiling,'' sexual violence, child care, equal pay and contraception. There are few surprises and little depth to Kamen's discussions. However, there are occasional interesting moments, like the shrewd Ohio State activist who lures frat members to pro-choice rallies by telling them about birth-control failure rates. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 404 pages - 978-1-55611-257-7
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