Feminist Phoenix: The Rise and Fall of a Feminist Counterculture

Feminist Phoenix: The Rise and Fall of a Feminist Counterculture

Feminist Phoenix: The Rise and Fall of a Feminist Counterculture

Feminist Phoenix: The Rise and Fall of a Feminist Counterculture

Synopsis

The rise and fall of feminist counterculture is traced through feminism's liberation of popular media such as music, cinema, and television and provides portraits of personalities such as Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, and Gloria Steinem as countercultural models. In addition, the decline of feminism after 1980 is explored.

Excerpt

This book grew out of my interest in the 1960s counterculture and my observation of the developing women's liberation movement. As the lone male member of a women's studies committee at the University of Texas at Arlington, I had a unique vantage point. in 1970, we were one of the first such groups in Texas. My 1971 course, History of the American Woman, was perhaps Texas's first women's studies course. I got on well with most of my female colleagues, but was always an interloper in a field dominated by women scholars. I am still somewhat of an interloper. the vast majority of works on recent feminism have been written by women -- most of whom are feminist activists or women's studies faculty. I do not sense a conspiracy here. There are logical reasons for female scholars to dominate books on feminism, and some women writers, such as Camille Paglia and Sylvia Hewitt, have been critical of both feminism and feminist scholarship. Yet there has not been much of a gender spectrum in books about feminism. of course, ideas have no gender, yet gender can sometimes subtly shape point of view. Ironically, that is often a major conclusion of most women who write history.

My earliest writing on countercultural approaches to change dealt with protest songs and protest singers in the 1960s, including some feminist artists. I had been heavily influenced by so-called New Left historians . . .

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