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Tell me everything

Joanna Biggs: Facebook Feminism, 11 April 2013

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead 
by Sheryl Sandberg.
W.H. Allen, 230 pp., £14.99, March 2013, 978 0 7535 4162 3
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The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network 
by Katherine Losse.
Free Press, 256 pp., £18.99, July 2012, 978 1 4516 6825 4
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... Facebook may have started as a way to rank one woman’s hotness over another’s, but it has been quick to produce its first feminists. Everything goes faster in Silicon Valley: code is written overnight; engineers get around the office on aerodynamic skateboards called RipStiks; a company less than ten years old is worth $104 billion for a day before losing $35 billion in value ...


Nina Auerbach: Feminists Fall Out, 6 July 2000

Critical Condition: Feminism at the Turn of the Century 
by Susan Gubar.
Columbia, 237 pp., £16, February 2000, 0 231 11580 6
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... early leader, really made so self-preserving an admission, it shames us all. For Susan B. Anthony, Gloria Steinem and hordes of more obscure crusaders, embracing The Cause meant embracing a lifetime of abuse. Academic feminism shrank away before the fight began. The rule of full disclosure obliges me to admit that while I was attached to that early ...

Get off your knees

Ferdinand Mount: An Atheist in the House, 30 June 2011

Dare to Stand Alone: The Story of Charles Bradlaugh, Atheist and Republican 
by Bryan Niblett.
Kramedart, 391 pp., £19.99, January 2011, 978 0 9564743 0 8
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... without any visible effort; but also eloquent, serious, immensely moral and decent. He was the Gloria Steinem of atheism, an inexhaustible public personality who lent star quality to an unpopular and alarming cause. He defied in his own person the caricature so crudely chalked by Lord Randolph Churchill that the supporters of atheism ‘were for the ...


Jonathan Raban: I’m for Obama, 20 March 2008

... They circulate (‘I hope you’ll share this with every decent woman you know’) op-ed pieces by Gloria Steinem (‘Why is the sex barrier not taken as seriously as the racial one?’), and Erica Jong (‘If I have to watch another great American woman thrown in the dustbin of history to please the patriarchy, I’ll move to Canada’), along with a ...

Travelling in the Wrong Direction

Lorna Finlayson: Popular Feminism, 4 July 2019

Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny 
by Sarah Banet-Weiser.
Duke, 220 pp., £18.99, November 2018, 978 1 4780 0291 8
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Darkness Now Visible: Patriarchy’s Resurgence and Feminist Resistance 
by Carol Gilligan and David Richards.
Cambridge, 162 pp., £21.99, August 2018, 978 1 108 47065 0
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Feminism for the 99 Per Cent: A Manifesto 
by Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya and Nancy Fraser.
Verso, 85 pp., £7.99, March 2019, 978 1 78873 442 4
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... who lined up to shame the women who dared to criticise Clinton or to favour a left candidate. Gloria Steinem speculated that Sanders’s female supporters were only in it ‘for the boys’; Madeleine Albright threatened ‘a special place in hell’ for unbelievers. Genuine progress can provoke a backlash. But that is not the most illuminating ...


Katha Pollitt, 21 March 1996

Barren in the Promised Land: Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness 
by Elaine Tyler May.
Basic Books, 318 pp., $24, June 1995, 0 465 00609 4
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Mothers in Law: Feminist Theory and the Legal Regulation of Motherhood 
edited by Martha Albertson Fineman and Isabel Karpin.
Columbia, 398 pp., £12.95, June 1995, 9780231096812
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What about Us? An Open Letter to the Mothers Feminism Forgot 
by Maureen Freely.
Bloomsbury, 224 pp., £15.99, October 1995, 0 7475 2304 5
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Kidding Ourselves: Breadwinning, Babies and Bargaining Power 
by Rhona Mahony.
Basic Books, 277 pp., $23, June 1995, 0 465 08594 6
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... is activism on a grand scale. It is hard to see how Freely, who seems to blame Kate Millet and Gloria Steinem for every unresolved conflict in her life, is going to forward that goal. Rhona Mahony’s Kidding Ourselves: Bread-winning, Babies and Bargaining Power locates Freely’s problem squarely in the unequivocal division of labour in her ...

However I Smell

Jenny Diski: Old, Unwanted and Invisible, 8 May 2014

Out of Time 
by Lynne Segal.
Verso, 331 pp., £16.99, November 2013, 978 1 78468 139 5
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... arms to conceal creased and creped skin, or wonder: is this skirt OK for a woman of my age? When Gloria Steinem snapped back at the ‘compliment’ that she didn’t look her age with ‘This is what forty looks like,’ no one thought that in later years it would still be thought flattering to say a woman looked ten years younger than she was. We knew ...

St Marilyn

Andrew O’Hagan: The Girl and Me, 6 January 2000

The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe 
Christie’s, 415 pp., $85, September 1999, 0 903432 64 1Show More
The Complete Marilyn Monroe 
by Adam Victor.
Thames and Hudson, 339 pp., £29.95, November 1999, 0 500 01978 9
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Marilyn Monroe 
by Barbara Leaming.
Orion, 474 pp., £8.99, October 1999, 0 7528 2692 1
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... is another category: Norman Mailer (‘Marilyn was every man’s love affair with America’) to Gloria Steinem (‘It is the lost possibilities of Marilyn Monroe that capture our imaginations’).† And then – sigh of relief – there are the biographers who simply adored the way she was on the screen, who became intrigued by what happened to ...

The Nominee

Andrew O’Hagan: With the Democrats, 19 August 2004

... a Howl-style poem about the injustices of Wal-Mart. The speakers mentioned Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Gloria Steinem, The Beatles. Dennis Kucinich, a small, birdlike man with strong views and sharp claws, the only candidate for the nomination who had voted against the war and the Patriot Act, knew how to rouse a Boston audience. ‘We didn’t flee an empire ...

Women beware men

Margaret Anne Doody, 23 July 1992

Backlash: The Undeclared War against Women 
by Susan Faludi.
Chatto, 592 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 7011 4643 5
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The War against Women 
by Marilyn French.
Hamish Hamilton, 229 pp., £9.99, March 1992, 0 241 13271 1
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... tough but humorous. One episode that we have never seen dealt with the Equal Rights Amendment, and Gloria Steinem was supposed to appear briefly; the network not only banned her appearance but cancelled that episode. The popularity of the programme itself did nothing to assuage the executives’ discomfort with it. CBS cancelled Cagney and Lacey in ...

A Rumbling of Things Unknown

Jacqueline Rose: Marilyn Monroe, 26 April 2012

... Negro girl in ‘a sad-looking dress, one sock falling down around her ankles’. And according to Gloria Steinem, when the Mocambo nightclub in Los Angeles was reluctant to hire a black singer named Ella Fitzgerald, the owner received a personal call from Monroe, who offered to take a front table every night if he hired Fitzgerald (as Monroe had ...

Sisyphus at the Selectric

James Wolcott: Undoing Philip Roth, 20 May 2021

Philip Roth: The Biography 
by Blake Bailey.
Cape, 898 pp., £30, April, 978 0 224 09817 5
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Philip Roth: A Counterlife 
by Ira Nadel.
Oxford, 546 pp., £22.99, May, 978 0 19 984610 8
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Here We Are: My Friendship with Philip Roth 
by Benjamin Taylor.
Penguin, 192 pp., £18, May 2020, 978 0 525 50524 2
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... THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY HONOUR’. As Roth said to a friend: ‘All that’s missing now is the Gloria Steinem Award from the National Organisation for Women and the cherished Kakutani Prize.’ The Kakutani Prize consists of a clunk on the head, so he was better off without it. It was the Nobel he craved, and if Leaving a Doll’s House did capsize ...

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