By Julie D. Shayne
What can revolutions do for women? For decades, feminists and revolutionaries have posed this question. Extending the dialogue on any issue, however, is not always a matter of providing more answers; sometimes it is a case of asking new questions. In The Revolution Question, Julie D. Shayne does just that. Rather than asking what revolutions can do for women she ask: What do woman do for revolutions and, moreover, how does revolution relate to feminism? Through an analysis of recent revolutionary movements in El Salvador, Chile, and Cuba, Shayne documents the roles of women in armed and unarmed political activities and argues that women contribute to and participate in revolutionary movements in ways that are quite distinct from men. She suggests that despite the fact that women's political contributions tend to be seen as less important than those of their male comrades, the roles that women play are actually quite significant to the expansion of revolutionary movements. Shayne also explains how, given the,convergence of political and ideological factors, feminism is often born in the wake of revolutionary movements.
- New Brunswick, NJ