Dienstag, 3. Oktober 2017

Kate Millett

Kate Millett: ‘Sexual Politics’ & Family Values

When Kate Millett died, half-forgotten, on September 6 at the age of eighty-two, obituary writers struggled to take the full measure of this pioneering feminist writer and activist. Maybe Second Wave feminism now seems so far away that we’re hazy about what once made it so thrilling and threatening. Let me state it plainly: Millett invented feminist literary criticism. Before her, it did not exist. Her urgent, elegant 1970 masterwork, Sexual Politics, with its wry takedowns of the casual misogyny and rape scenes that had made the reputations of the sexual revolutionaries du jour—Norman Mailer, Henry Miller, D.H. Lawrence—introduced a new and remarkably durable idea: you could interpret literature in light of its gender dynamics. You could go to novels and poems for an education in sex as power. You may not agree that literature is the proper medium for consciousness-raising, but you can’t deny that Millett made reading a life-changing, even world-changing, act. ...

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