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“Firestone did not like humans *or* machines much.” May 22, 2011

Posted by Summerspeaker in Feminism, Technology, Transhumanism.

The quotation comes from Caroline Bassett’s piece in the outstanding collection Further Adventures of The Dialectic of Sex: Critical Essays on Shulamith Firestone. Though a questionable reflection on Firestone’s thought as a whole, the sentence matches my current mood. Despite popular opinion, I’m no robot cultist. I share Firestone’s utterly impatient outrage at the status quo. Bassett analyzes this aspect of The Dialectic of Sex in detail and articulates Firestone’s contribution in poetic terms:

The long freezes of feminism leave silvers of ice in the ground. Firestone, as her name suggests, both lit the spark and took the heat. That she did so against the odds, with such impatience, with such a sense of  having deferred long enough, and with such a sense of hope, makes her work the more compelling. The Dialectic of Sex, it seems to me at least, is at once a shout of triumph – “now it is possible!” – and a cry of pain and frustration about the distance to travel and the difficulty of getting there. It is in this light that Firestone’s sense of the final and sudden dissipation, the canceling out of all that weight, the glorious and outrageous and utterly impious demand for an end to all this, for something really new, something androgyne, is so very powerful.

Here’s to the revolutionary dream and a denial of its supposed impossibility.



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