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The Essential Feminist Reader (Modern Library Classics)


The Essential Feminist Reader (Modern Library Classics) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Including: Susan B. Anthony Simone de Beauvoir W.E.B. Du Bois Hélène Cixous Betty Friedan Charlotte Perkins Gilman Emma Goldman Guerrilla Girls Ding Ling • Audre Lorde John Stuart Mill Christine de Pizan Adrienne Rich Margaret Sanger Huda Shaarawi • Sojourner Truth Mary Wollstonecraft Virginia Woolf

The Essential Feminist Reader is the first anthology to present the full scope of feminist history. Prizewinning historian Estelle B. Freedman brings decades of teaching experience and scholarship to her selections, which span more than five centuries. Moving beyond standard texts by English and American thinkers, this collection features primary source material from around the globe, including short works of fiction and drama, political manifestos, and the work of less well-known writers.

Freedmans cogent Introduction assesses the challenges facing feminism, while her accessible, lively commentary contextualizes each piece. The Essential Feminist Reader is a vital addition to feminist scholarship, and an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the history of women.


The definitive anthology of feminist writing, this collection presents the true history of feminism within both global and historical frameworks, and provides a vital addition to the field.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi


1. Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies (France, 1405) 3

2. Franc¸ois Poullain de la Barre, On the Equality of the Two Sexes (France, 1673) 10

3. Sor Juana Ine´s de la Cruz, “The Reply to Sor Philotea” (Mexico, 1691) 15

4. Mary Astell, A Serious Proposal to the Ladies (England, 1694) 20

5. Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (England, 1792) 24

6. Li Ju-chen, Flowers in the Mirror (China, c. 1800) 37

7. Sarah M. Grimke´, Letters on the Equality of the Sexes (United States, 1837) 47

8. Flora Tristan, “The Emancipation of Working Class Women” (France, 1843) 52

9. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” (United States, 1848) 57

10. Sojourner Truth, Two Speeches (United States, 1851, 1867) 63

11. Harriet Taylor Mill, “The Enfranchisement of Women” (England, 1851) 67

12. John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women (England, 1869) 73

13. Susan B. Anthony, “Social Purity” (United States, 1875) 85

14. Henrik Ibsen, The Dolls House (Sweden, 1879) 92

15. Kishida Toshiko, “Daughters in Boxes” ( Japan, 1883) 99

16. Friedrich Engels, The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (Germany, 1884) 104

17. Francisca Diniz, “Equality of Rights” (Brazil, 1890) 112

18. Anna Julia Cooper, A Voice from the South (United States, 1892) 116

19. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “The Solitude of Self ” (United States, 1892) 122

20. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” (United States, 1892) 128

21. Qasim Amin, The Liberation of Women (Egypt, 1899) 145

22. Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, “Sultanas Dream” (India, 1905) 153

23. Qiu Jin, Stones of the Jingwei Bird (China, 1905—07) 165

24. Emma Goldman, “The Tragedy of Womans Emancipation” (United States, 1906) 168

25. Alexandra Kollontai, “The Social Basis of the Woman Question” (Russia, 1909) 175

26. three poems:

182 Sara Estela Rami´rez, “Rise Up! To Woman” (United States, 1910)

Yosano Akiko, “The Day the Mountains Move” (Japan, 1911)

James Oppenheim, “Bread and Roses” (United States, 1911)

27. Luisa Capetillo, Mi opinión (Puerto Rico, 1911) 186

28. Emmeline Pankhurst, Suffrage Speech at Old Bailey (England, 1912) 192

29. Womens International League for Peace and Freedom, Resolutions of the Zurich Conference (1919) 199

30. W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Damnation of Women” (United States, 1919) 204

31. Margaret Sanger, Woman and the New Race (United States, 1920) 211

32. Shareefeh Hamid Ali, “East and West in Cooperation” (India, 1935) 217

33. Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas (England, 1938) 220

34. Alva Myrdal, Nation and Family (Sweden, 1941) 231

35. Ding Ling, “Thoughts on March 8” (China, 1942) 237

36. Huda Shaarawi, Speeches at Arab Feminist Conference (Egypt, 1944) 243

37. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, “We Had Equality till Britain Came” (Nigeria, 1947) 247

38. Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (France, 1949) 251

39. Federation of South African Women, Womens Charter and Aims (South Africa, 1954) 263

40. Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (United States, 1963) 269

41. Pauli Murray, Testimony, House Committee on Education and Labor (United States, 1970) 283

42. Pat Mainardi, “The Politics of Housework” (United States, 1970) 288

43. Boston Womens Health Book Collective, Our Bodies, Ourselves (United States, 1973) 295

44. Mariarosa Dalla Costa, “A General Strike” (Italy, 1974) 300

45. Committee on the Status of Women in India, Towards Equality (India, 1974) 304

46. Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape (United States, 1975) 311

47. He´le`ne Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa” (France, 1975) 318

48. Combahee River Collective, “A Black Feminist Statement” (United States, 1977) 325

49. Audre Lorde, “The Masters Tools Will Never Dismantle the Masters House” (United States, 1979) 331

50. United Nations, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979) 336

51. Domitila Barrios de la Chungara, “The Womans Problem” (Bolivia, 1980) 346

52. Association of African Women for Research and Development, “A Statement on Genital Mutilation” (Senegal, 1980) 351

53. Anonymous, “How It All Began: I Have Had an Abortion” (Germany, 1981) 355

54. Monique Wittig, “One Is Not Born a Woman” (France, 1981) 359

55. Adrienne Rich, “Notes Toward a Politics of Location” (United States, 1984) 367

56. Gloria Anzaldu´a, “La Conciencia de la Mestiza: Toward a New Consciousness” (United States, 1987) 385

57. Guerrilla Girls, “When Sexism and Racism Are No Longer Fashionable” and “Do Women Have To Be Naked To Get into the Met. Museum?” (United States, 1989) 391

58. Kathleen Hanna / Bikini Kill, “Riot Grrrl Manifesto” (United States, 1992) 394

59. Rebecca Walker, “Becoming the Third Wave” (United States, 1992) 397

60. United Nations, Fourth World Conference on Women, Speeches (1995) 402

Gertrude Mongella (Tanzania), Opening Address, Plenary Session

Winona LaDuke (United States), “The Indigenous

Womens Network, Our Future, Our Responsibility”

Palesa Beverley Ditsie (South Africa), Statement of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

Gro Haarlem Brundtland (Norway), Closing Address

61. Sylviane Agacinski, Parity of the Sexes (France, 1998) 415

62. Jonah Gokova, “Challenging Men to Reject Gender Stereotypes” (Zimbabwe, 1998) 420

63. Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (United States, 2000) 424

64. Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, “Statement on the Occasion of International Womens Day” (Afghanistan, 2004) 427

Sources for Documents 431

Selected Bibliography 439

Acknowledgments 443

Permission Acknowledgments 445

Index 451

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

cccleveland, March 9, 2013 (view all comments by cccleveland)
This book is essential to understanding the first, second and third wave feminist movement. This book is filled with important women who contributed to the movement and the writings they put forth to stimulate the mind and make you reconsider how you view the world. Works include Simone de Beauvoir's "The Second Sex" Henrik Ibsen "The Doll House", Susan B Anthony "Social Purity", and of course an excerpt from Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" are just a few of the writings you get to explore.
Reading this book changes how you look at the world and forces you to think of concepts that you had never considered before. For anyone who was ever interested in feminism this is THE book to begin your education into the movement.
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Product Details

Freedman, Estelle B.
Modern Library
Freedman, Estelle
Edited and with an Introduction by Estelle B. Freedman
Freedman, Estelle
Women's Studies - General
Feminism & Feminist Theory
Feminism -- History.
Feminist theory -- History.
Women's Studies
Feminist Studies-General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Modern Library Classics
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.17 x 1.09 in 0.75 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Essential Feminist Reader (Modern Library Classics) New Trade Paper
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Product details 496 pages Modern Library - English 9780812974607 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The definitive anthology of feminist writing, this collection presents the true history of feminism within both global and historical frameworks, and provides a vital addition to the field.
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