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Shulamith Firestone’s Psychiatry Memoir, The Fireball of Radical Feminism


In early 1987, Shulamith Firestone He was first admitted to a psychiatric institution. The landlord called her sister Laya to tell her that her tenant’s situation was deteriorating and that the neighbors were sick. This was the warning I needed to finally travel to and take care of New York. She already knew her sister’s mental health was deteriorating, but now she’s about to lose home and who knows what else if she doesn’t get help. He took her to the Payne Whitney Clinic, where she was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and hospitalized for five months. Over the following years he intermittently returned to solitude Until 2012 she was found dead in her apartment at the age of 67.

Thinker, activist, writer, and artist Sulamith Firestone was as intelligent as few others. your book sex argument It revolutionized the second feminist movement in the 1970s and She was one of the theorists of what is known as radical feminism. This is the most remembered part of her resume, but also Published a headline to find out the vagaries of a person with mental health problems in the United States at the end of the twentieth century. Airless spaces She appeared in 1998 thanks to the help of her feminist friends, although she had moved away from the activism many years earlier. Infinita Doll just published it in Spain, translated by Claudio Iglesias with an epilogue written by her Susan Faludiauthor of the famous book reaction. The undeclared war against modern women (1991).

Firestone volume is divided into blocks titled in the hospitalAnd the after hospitalAnd the losersAnd the obituary s I met suicide bombers. In turn, each one contains short stories in which the writer tells her experiences through fictional characters or herself. Routine inside the hospital, workers’ treatment of patients, integration into the outside world after leaving detention or lack of protection for people without resources are some of the topics she deals with. Briefly and without a dramatic tone, it tells unrelated stories, even though they all share the same common denominator: mental health.

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Infinite Doll who specializes in memorial combo was interested in Airless spaces For Firestone’s unique look and writing style. “You could have made the decision to use some long, detailed and narcissistic memoirs, but it took a more interesting path; John Paul DiazFounder of the publishing house. “It is a deeply political book. He talks about mental illness as a social phenomenon, On how important society is to confront mental problems, he adds. With this, the list of titles hitting bookstores in recent weeks related to mental health, an editorial “boom” that has its interpretation in today’s social reality, is lengthening as it has become a regular topic of public debate.

For the editor, encounters and disagreements with others are the basis of the book. He admits that every time he thinks of this title, “the scarlet image of some pool ball pops into his mind. Two separate balls, meet, collide and shoot in opposite directions,” he says. Mental health is now one of the most important concerns of society, and since the times he hesitates In it the author on the institutions of psychiatry, great progress has been made, but precisely for this reason, Diaz says, “It is a sad book, but its analysis is very interesting. We come from the past and the present in which we live & rdquo;.

The Feminist Movement of Shulamith Firestone

It is impossible to talk about the character of this writer without investigating her character as a feminist. Faludi does a good review in Infinite Doll Edition Finale, an obituary version originally published in the section American records From New Yorker in 2013. Firestone was the founder of the first radical feminist groups in the United States and, according to Faludi, was as bold and radical as few others. He wrote: “A little over five feet tall, with waist-length hair and dark eyes behind her Yoko Ono-style glasses, Firestone has been known in motion as ‘Scorching’ and ‘Fireball’.

in sex argument who devoted to Simone de BeauvoirFirestone presents ideas such as the “sexual caste system” – in a reinterpretation MarxAnd the Engels s FreudDeeper than economic or social classes. For her, the traditional family structure is the basis of women’s oppression and in her text there are phrases such as childbirth “like squatting gourd”. “The main goal of the feminist revolution, unlike the first feminist movement, should be, Not only the elimination of male privilege but also the difference of the same sexHe says in the book: The difference in the genitals of humans will not have any cultural difference anymore.

But, half a century after her book was published, how do Firestone’s ideas fit into today’s feminism? Grace Trujillo BarbadelloPhD in Sociology and Feminist Activist Like measserts that she “was more than a pioneer, a genius, a visionary. Use all Marxist tools to explain gender inequality, That it was justified (and this is still the case sometimes) in the ‘biological difference’. It is also noted that the author sex argument He advocated “the separation of sexual activity from reproductive work, pregnancy, and parenting.” Something was “one of the great feminist conquests, which we have to continue to advocate today. She was also very critical of the nuclear family and what it means to bind women, and to advocate for group parenting, apart from the couple,” she said.

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Arantza Campos RubioDoctor of Philosophy and expert in feminist theory of law asserts that if current feminism is understood as “theory Like me” Firestone’s ideas fit “frankly badly”. But “if, on the contrary, we talk about radical feminism – with many nuances given that 50 years do not pass in vain – then Firestone and Kate Millett It has not been developed yet and from my point of view it is not the program Like me. I believe it stems from a feminist “gender and gender” theory and has developed along non-feminist grounds. This isn’t criticism, it’s simply something else, and it’s good that it’s ” as he says.

Although he does not consider himself an expert in feminism, he has read Juan Pablo Diaz Firestone criticized by the far rightEspecially from social networks. She believes that “the writer’s thought has been misinterpreted and simplified, and she seems conscious and with a bad idea to mock it and through it transmit this satire to current feminists. An example of this is some Users who – which They describe ideas about childhood liberation and children’s rights as an apology for child sex and incest to accuse feminist politicians of being Firestone supporters, and thus advocates of such crimes.

Campos Rubio explains: “If you remove the context and don’t take into account the author’s entire conceptual arsenal, everything can look like anything” Humans in another way, but in a utopian world where everything works differently ”. Additionally, he explained, the writer “does not recognize the ‘taboo of incest,'” and this might be moot in theory, but from there, the assertion that Firestone endorses incest and homosexual sex is brutal.

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