Identifying Patriarchy As A Socially Conditioned Belief System Masquerading As Nature, The Author Demonstrates How Its Attitudes And Systems Penetrate Literature, Philosophy, Psychology, And Politics Her Work Rocked The Foundations Of The Literary Canon By Castigating Time Honored Classics For Their Use Of Sex To Degrade Women

10 thoughts on “Sexual Politics

  1. says:

    Revived Review to commemorate the passing of Kate Millett, Feminist critic, 1934 2017 Thanks to David Schaafsma for the gentle reminder Yes, it s Week Four of STRICTLY COME NOVELISTS note this is the British version of DANCING WITH THE NOVELISTS Tess Daley blondly And here, dancing the American smooth with his partner Ola Jordan, is Count Leo Tolstoy Music From Russia with Love The couple cavort Sir Bruce as the couple shimmies from the dance floor Well done, well done Leo I m glad you were able to finish your dance in less than 700 pages Mild titters from audience Come on, I thought it was better than that Anyway Let s hear what the judges have to say We ll start with Bruno.Bruno Toneoli Oooooh Count Waves arms wildly It was powerful, strong, progressive, and yet a sudden coquettish half smile just a trifle chauvinistic in your flicks and kicks.Len Goodman What s he talkin about Addresses Tolstoy directly Count, it was smashin Cor, the battles, the drama, the journeys from one end of Europe to the other that s the stuff to give the troops Lovely.Sir Bruce And Craig I hope you re not going to rain on this parade.Craig Revel Horwood Well darling, the armature was positively dashing, the costumes flamboyant enough to beat the band and in two words, de licious.Sir Bruce Oh, you actually had something nice to say, then You must need a lie down now Raises eyebrows towards the audience Alesha, my dear, did you like the armature Alesha Dixon Well I thought it had a few problems Len and Bruno look askance, like, what does she know anyway, she s only on this show because she s a gorgeous young woman, come on admit it everyone. I thought the choreography was sharp on the position of the serfs and the capework could certainly be read as a marvelous satire on upper class indifference to the suffering of the lower orders and, yes, the entire routine as an adumbration of the social revolution of Bakunin, still, I m sorry to say that the position of women groans from the audience was frankly terrible, and if we take your overly aggressive determination to lead throughout your American smooth as in any way indicative, I have to say you showed an undeviating and I would even say cruel adherence to an outmoded patriarchy.Sir Bruce Oh, ooh well, I didn t even understand half of that Off you go Tolstoy and Ola trip up the stairs and are interviewed briefly by Tess.Tess So, a bit of controversy there What did you make of Alesha s comments Tolstoy Vimmin is not problem Vimmen are life eetself Violence inherent in class system ees problem Tess chirpily, blondly But Count, unless the egregious imbalance of power between the sexes is at least acknowledged, social progress remains a boy s game played by boy s rules and on whatever wide canvas you choose to paint your great men of history they will in time be seen as parochial cul de sacs The Count looks miffed Maybe vimmen are the problem The scores are in.Announcer Will the judges please reveal their scores Craig Revel Horwood Craig Four audience hisses Announcer Len Goodman Len Sev ennn Announcer Alesha DixonAlesha Two Defiantly Announcer Bruno TonioliBruno Eight Tess So, 21 out of 40 Count do you think that will be enough to see you through to the next round Tolstoy I am uniquely unhappy Tess You seem to have lost your Russian accent.Tolstoy It comes and goes Just a short note to add to the frolics Kate Millett s book ramified my mind when I read it and convinced me I was right to loathe Henry Miller and to think D H Lawrence had a screw loose It was bold and bracing, and necessary.However, the problem is that after feminism there is the tendency to read back, or reread past works and kind of score them for their progressive or regressive tendencies, and make literature into a liberal beauty parade Which it isn t For me this book was the beginning of the political correctness debate, which still rages see all the arguing about American Psycho where you get people talking past each other all the time this is misogynist shit No, it s a satire of capitalism Then it s a misogynistic satire of capitalism Get back in your box you politically correct muppet, or we ll chainsaw you too Etc, etc I wonder what Kate Millett would make of the Dark Romance sub genre like Pretty When she Cries and Comfort Food I saw one goodreader saying I m a fan of NC fiction NC means Non Consensual, meaning rape There s a genre of this That s such a depressing thought.

  2. says:

    It ruined D H Lawrence for me, but we all get somewhere we realize our favorite author is sexist, especially those who had good women in their lives and I don t know why.If you like feminist literary criticism and if you don t mind your favorite authors being criticized,you will definitely like this It s super fluid and fun and feminist.

  3. says:

    R.I.P Kate Millett, who died yesterday in Paris This book, which I read parts of in the seventies, and read of in the eighties, and have occasionally used in my teaching is responsible for founding feminist literary studies, focusing on what now seem to be thanks to her obvious examples Henry Miller, Norman Mailer though she is also takes her scalpel to romantic favorites of mine Lawrence and Hardy ouch and I still quibble with her on her views of certain works in Hardy and Lawrence Millet takes on Freud, too, and that now seems obvious, but when she wrote of Freud in this way Freud, the Father of Psychoanalysis, who wrote in maybe his last letter, What is it women really want it was a kind of revelation Millett sees lurking sexism and even misogyny in what was initially perceived as the literature of sexual liberation Liberation for whom, Millett asked Probably Simone de Beauvoir, who of course preceded Millett, was the Mother of Feminist Studies Women Gender studies, but this book was just as important It s depressingly worth looking at Imagine, we are still struggling with the same issues, daily, in literature and life Imagine how Millet s death and the reminder of her analysis will take the fun out of my listening to Charles Bukowski s Women, damn it.

  4. says:

    Everyone always says that this book founded feminist literary studies even though OBVIOUSLY Simone De Beauvoir was the real founder with her essays on several of the same authors in Second Sex I know it s not as fun to think so though since she founded EVERYTHING else already However, Sexual Politics is mind blowingly brilliant One of the few literary theory books which leaves you analyzing the patterns of your own life and recognizing underlying structures you instictively knew, but could not name Highly recommended.

  5. says:

    An eyeopener Moving, so scanning in some books My favorite ones After reading this, I swore off Mailer and H Miller forever Met Kate later, when she was making art in a studio in the East Village My idea of an artistic rebel.

  6. says:

    Em honra de Kate Millett 1934 2017 Uma dos baluartes da segunda onda feminista, Millett reverberou tudo que havia de errado com o backlash p s sufr gio que as feministas sofreram no s culo XX e essa uma tentativa de desmistificar tudo que o saber poder masculino tentou nos impingir durante s culos.A primeira parte do livro abrange todo o per odo hist rico e cultural considerado como a primeira revolu o sexual, de 1830 a 1930, Wollstonecraft, Mill, Engels, Charlotte Bronte, Thomas Hardy, George Meredith, Oscar Wilde, Ibsen s o contrapostos a Rossetti, Ruskin, Tennyson no delinear de como eram vistas as mulheres no s culo XIX e o que historicamente estava acontecendo nos EUA e Inglaterra para que as coisas mudassem com as sufragetes Vemos duas vis es d spares na sociedade vitoriana, primeiro a eficiente vis o de John Stuart Mill descrita em A Sujei o das Mulheres e a ins pida e tenebrosa vis o de John Ruskin.Na segunda parte do livro temos os exemplos da contra revolu o, o backlash, primeiro exemplificado com as diferen as ocorridas na sociedade alem com o nazismo, de como as mulheres voltaram a serem vistas como parideiras do Estado Logo a seguir vemos como a Revolu o Russa foi libert ria para as mulheres dando lhes direito ao aborto e igualdade social para logo em seguida com o advento do stalinismo serem novamente relegadas condi o de p rias sociais.O cr me de la cr me dessa segunda parte do livro a extensiva an lise sobre o reacionarismo freudiano e o quanto a vis o equivocada de Freud sobre as mulheres as prejudicou no s culo XX e foi pedra de toque para os movimentos reacion rios com rela o pol tica sexual De fato, tudo que Freud escreveu e falou sobre as mulheres um show de horrores, humanamente imposs vel l los e extrair algo de bom daquilo, de uma misoginia sem par metros, o que acabou obscurecendo a mente dos p s freudianos e dos funcionalistas tamb m.Enfim, livro fundamental sobre a hist ria da pol tica sexual, assim como baluarte do movimento feminista.

  7. says:

    4.5We all know how easy it is to look back and criticize It is very easy, but to do it eloquently, lucidly, and with the goal of creating a measuring stick for sexual politics is a feat to celebrate, not to mention that it is admirable, interesting and worth discussing I mean really, using literature as a barometer for the sexual political climate of the times What s not to enjoy Yes, she indulges in close reading, but she does not go overboard and indulge tangents, whims or stray metaphors Her focus and drive are scholastic and betray a huge respect for philosophical argument and for the history of the sexual revolution As individual criticisms and overarching historical documentation, maybe they have been done before, and maybe even have been done better by some, but as an introduction to feminist history and a scathing review of some of the literary giants, it stands alone Most importantly it still holds its ground almost 50 years later Not only does she acknowledge class and racial warfare as significant props of the patriarchal political structure, but her arguments effectively anticipate the third wave I recommend this, as a key part of the ongoing dialogue, to anyone who is serious about understanding feminist history and theory.

  8. says:

    Holy shit, this book was better than I could ever imagine Kate Millett is a badass super genius.

  9. says:

    It is a book that has started the second wave or third depending which academic you follow of feminism and as such it has already historical value It is a fascinating read, even today.

  10. says:

    This is a fantastic read both in its remaining relevance to how we are now and as a historical document With so much negativity in the world, it is enjoyable to reflect on how much has been achieved I had to keep in mind the position of women in 1960 as I was reading this but also useful to have some flags as to how progress on women s rights is resisted and dialled back.It is an academic book but easily accessible I would say it is far accessible than de Beauvoir s The Second Sex, to which it can be obviously compared in terms of content and approach It starts with a relatively brief dissection of some thoroughly offensive scenes from Henry Miller s Sexus and Norman Mailer s An American Dream The fact that 50 years ago someone had to explain that these descriptions of borderline rape is there any such thing as borderline rape does that result in a women becoming a bit pregnant were misogynistic absolutely blows my mind In a bad way It s one of those moments like when I saw this billboard from the 1970s the crazy thing here isn t the graphitti response, which has its issues, but that fact that this was an acceptable sentiment to put on a billboard when my mother was working in an office It is worth persevering through these initial monstrosities to the excellent core of the book This documents the sexual revolution in the US and Europe, which Millett puts at 1830 1930, and the counter revolution The Patriarchy Strikes Back which she puts at 1930 1960 She details political movements but the main focus is writings of the time, such as a memorable section deconstructing The Subjection of Women and, by contrast, Of Queens Gardens Her wit is sharp and her reasoning is sound Ruskin doesn t stand a chance I found myself bracing myself for the section on Freud, but found it thoroughly entertaining and enlightening I think I highlighted about half of the damn thing.I skipped the litcrit of Lawrence, Miller, Mailer, and Genet that made up the final 35% I haven t read enough Lawrence and never plan to read Miller and Mailer thanks to the introduction at the beginning of this book I would like to read Genet so don t want the details spoiled.It s a big book and a lot to take on, but can be easily read in sections and is definitely worth it The ultimate take home is that for real change to occur we need not just to amend our laws but to fundamentally overhaul the way we think about the roles of individuals of a class in society Vive le revolution