Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women's Movement

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women's Movement

Article excerpt

Subverted: How I Helped the Sexual Revolution Hijack the Women's Movement BY SUE ELLEN BROWDER IGNATIUS, 232 PAGES, $22.95

Subverted recounts the untold history of how the feminist and pro-abortion movements became allied. Part exposé, part conversion memoir, Browder's book defies easy categorization, but by the end, I understood her approach. Browder's honest account of her personal life-including her choice to have an abortion, despite being in a loving marriage-highlights the contradictions between reality and the flashy fantasy of the sexually liberated woman that she fabricated and peddled as a writer for Cosmopolitan during the heyday of the sexual revolution.

A particularly fascinating thread in the book is Browder's nuanced profile of Betty Friedan. She was initially ambivalent about legalizing abortion; the issue of "reproductive rights" was conspicuously absent from the first edition of Tbe Fe??iinine Mystique. By the 1980s, she was blaming the "failure" of the women's movement on "our blind spot about the family. …

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