In the United Kingdom, tampons are taxed more than jaffa cakes. In Delmar's view, the result of Firestone's discussion of Freud is that "Freud is not so much refuted or rescued from his mistakes as ignored. She goes on to deftly synthesize the work of Freud, Marx, de Beauvoir, and Engels to create a cogent argument for feminist revolution. Firestone thus interprets Freudian "metaphors" such as the Oedipus complex in terms of power relations within the family, an approach Mitchell considered mistaken. It is a situation of total emotional vulnerability. In Mitchell's view, Firestone's interpretation of Freud reduces his psychological constructs to the social realities from which they were reduced, thereby equating the Oedipus complex with the nuclear family. Where the elimination of economic classes would involve the proletariat seizing control of the means of production, in a feminist revolution, the female underclass must seize control of the means of reproduction in order to escape biological oppression and to eliminate sexual classes. Such a proposition is revolutionary indeed.
Ultimately she presents feminism as the key radical ideology, the missing link between Marx and Freud, uniting their visions of the political and the personal. She had no interest in integrating women into the system that has subjugated them. Love itself is not at fault. While our sexual desires are curtailed and the twin cults of eroticism and romanticism feed us a steady diet of dross—dead-eyed models who set the standard for attractiveness, increasingly trite romantic comedies, dissatisfying and desensitizing porn—it is still the case that erotic energy is essential, enriching, and intensely human. Freud demonstrated that the source of repression and sex-class distinctions is the inherently unequal power relationship in the biological family: Firestone thus interprets Freudian "metaphors" such as the Oedipus complex in terms of power relations within the family, an approach Mitchell considered mistaken. Technology will eliminate domestic and other drudgery, leaving everyone free to do work which is intrinsically rewarding. Women, Firestone declares, are an oppressed sex class. In the forty-five years since she penned her manifesto, Firestone has remained a largely marginalised figure. This is love not altruistic and blind, but selfish and clear-sighted. She noted that while Firestone, like Simone de Beauvoir , attributes the term "Electra complex" to Freud, it was actually coined by Carl Jung. So too does desire. The responsibility for contraception is still placed largely on women rather than men, and it is frequently economically burdensome. The same corporation has come under fire in the past for their poor environmental record and exorbitant executive salaries. The end of sexual repression will free Eros to diffuse throughout and humanize the entire culture. The biological family turns sexual love into a tool of oppression. Where the elimination of economic classes would involve the proletariat seizing control of the means of production, in a feminist revolution, the female underclass must seize control of the means of reproduction in order to escape biological oppression and to eliminate sexual classes. But its release was met with a degree of ire that its cohort never quite attracted. They have been constantly and systematically exploited to the benefit of the male ruling class. She has the enviable ability to strip a theory or phenomenon of all authority with a casual remark: The Dialectic of Sex is a call to arms. While Firestone is best remembered as a prophet of technological insurgency, I find myself most compelled by her ideas about human love, her careful working through of its present inadequacy and her vision for its future transmutation. If you need further convincing that women today are socially, politically, and economically exploited on the basis of their biology, I suggest you read this , this , this , this , this , this , this , and this. The s kicked into gear and radical feminists led the charge. For Firestone, the unequal balance of power between the sex classes has corrupted, complicated, and hindered love. Its tight control leaves us physically and emotionally alienated, places a lid on our desires, and cripples our capacity to meet one another as equals. Her style is excoriating and ambitious; her tone flits between witty and wrathful.
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Was It Rape? on Judge Pirro
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