A feminist trailblazer recently passed away.
In the apt words of Jennifer Baumgarder, “Shulamith Firestone was, briefly, the most significant producer of radical feminist theory and organizing.”
While news of her death was covered by most feminist and some mainstream news outlets, the collective response seemed at times to underplay the magnitude of her contributions to our movement. That’s why I’m pleased to see a section of remembrances from a number of Firestone’s friends and colleagues in the literary and cultural journal n+1. The pieces were compiled and edited by Dayna Tortorici in collaboration with Beth Stryker, as part of the Shulamith Firestone Memorial Pamphlet (September 23, 2012).In a preface to the collection, Tortorici writes:
“The first news of her death read like a cautionary tale—a wake-up call for women who choose to reject the security of conventional family life. Later stories gave a fuller portrait of a woman who was loved and supported by family and friends, but who nevertheless slipped away. Obituaries further described the loss of a fearless writer and thinker whose work remains underappreciated, and among younger readers, largely unknown. In an effort to do justice to Firestone’s memory, and to encourage readers to revisit her work, the artist Beth Stryker and I have assembled remembrances from many of her friends, family, and followers here.” [Emphasis mine.]
The remembrance is divided into segments on the n+1 website. Read the intro here, Part One here, and Part Two here. And here’s to n+1 and other publications like it featuring more of these sorts of delightful and important stories on their sites.