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News Fri Sep 14 2012

Remembering Radical Feminist and SAIC Graduate Shulamith Firestone

Radical FeministShulamith Firestone died on Tuesday, August 28, at home. Although better known for her work after moving to New York City, Firestone's activism began in Chicago.

Firestone graduated from the School of the Art Institue in 1967, and before leaving, co-founded The Westside Group, for "consciousness-raising." Just a few short years later she wrote and published The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution, when she was 25. In the text, Firestone asserted that the biological structure of human life is at the root of sex discrimination, and further, she imagined that newly available reproductive technologies would ultimately free women from these constraints via cybernetics for laboratory births. Extreme as it may sound, the book became an essential feminist text at the time, and considering current political debate concerning women's reproductive rights, the theories she presents have gained a newfound importance.

Firestone wrote and published numerous essays throughout her life, as well as a book of short stories in 1998, Airless Spaces, which depicts characters moving in and out of mental hospitals in New York City. Firestone, who lived in New York City's East Village, suffered from mental illness herself.

Firestone was 67 when she died, and is survived by two sisters.

 
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