Freely mixing genres in vibrant prose, she considers Angela Carter, Doris Lessing, and Dorothy Dinnerstein and offers self-reflexive accounts of her own organizing, writing, and teaching. Sign In or Create an Account. Advanced Search. User Tools.
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Durham: Duke University Press , , pp. Feminism of Uncertainty is impressive in its scholarly research. The value of feminist research in this book is intensified through its praxis-driven framework. Photos of the author at various sites of grassroots feminist work testify to this methodology of feminist praxis, and appeal to the visual imagination of the feminist reader who yearns to learn on the ground in the classrooms of the world.
Feminism of Uncertainty is a philosophy of gender learned through decades of experimentation with gender politics in the laboratory of life, forever demanding creativity to rethink the feminist present and re-imagine feminist futures. The paradigm of feminist uncertainty never allows the nostalgia of past feminist work to solidify feminism into an airtight epistemological compartment. A joyful celebration of the past with feminist comrades, the book looks forward to the futuristic possibilities for feminism as it learns from others.
It is a unique contribution to feminist studies, reaching a broad target audience of theorists, teachers, and activists. At a time when the field is cleaved with irreconcilable differences between earlier epistemologies of feminisms and emergent perspectives, this book fills a major gap as it cuts across divides and speaks across eras and ideologies.
In that sense it performs a foundational task of re-imagining a broader reconciliatory vision for feminism that never forgets the importance of recognizing a broader transnational feminist perspective.
This course not only screens films that raise controversial issues, but also ends up creating a space of deep trust between a white feminist instructor and her incarcerated students of color where they discuss and debate abortion, rape, and queer identities, and students marked by the prison system as volatile are, nonetheless, held accountable for their biases and for any dishonesty.
Feminism of Uncertainty constantly questions borders. Feminism here not only crosses over into other worlds of the human, such as militarism and the prison industrial complex; it also transgresses boundaries between the human and the non-human.
Snitow engages the work of David Garnett, in which human definitions of gender themselves become malleable as human and non-human melt together in his novellas Lady into Fox and A Man in the Zoo.
This is the vision on which the book ends—a radical vision of a feminism of integrity that goes beyond feminism itself. That Feminism of Uncertainty will end with an examination of feminist utopias thus comes as no surprise. It is the mark of generous scholarship to be able to imagine a world beyond its own ideological affiliations. Can feminism usher in the good life? Does it guarantee a loving bedfellow? Or collective rituals that warm the heart?
This is particularly resonant and useful for a new generation of feminists to devise their own strategies at a time when feminist victories cannot be taken for granted. The earlier battles that their feminist foremothers fought and the ground they gained are again being called into question. Snitow calls on established feminist thinkers, teachers, and activists to be flexible about the uncertain times, about the uncertainty of feminism itself, to be on guard against complacency about their victories, and to keep building feminist futures of boundless creativity that forever break ceilings that keep appearing in new forms in new contexts.
The responsibility for writing that book lies with scholars and activists working in later feminist epistemologies that use race as a central paradigm. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Kevin B. Samuel Farber on Che Guevara. Sarah D. History reviewed by Paul Buhle. Andrew T. Lamas , Todd Wolfson and Peter N. Funke , eds. Skip to content.
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The Feminism of Uncertainty: A Gender Diary, by Ann Snitow
We compared notes recently: What did you think was happening? How did you think our own lives were going to change? I can stop fantasizing that secretly I am a man, as I used to, before I had children. Now I can value what was once my shame.
This piece, which has become a classic text in feminist theory, attempts to tease out a number of possible understandings of a central contradiction in contemporary feminist thinking. This recurring feminist divide goes under a variety of names: equality versus difference, minimizers versus maximizers, radical feminists versus cultural feminists, social constructionists versus essentialists, feminists versus motherists, etc. Do feminists want to elaborate and extend traditional female values, roles, and strengths, or are these marks of oppression, traits that need not or should not be considered as specifically the province of women? Sign In or Create an Account.