« WITNESS PREPARATION | Main | WOMEN IN COMBAT: ARGUMENTS THAT DON'T MATTER TO ME »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451f6e769e200d83424af9e53ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference THE FIRST SEX:

» The Carnival of Feminists, Issue 3 from Sour Duck
The Happy Feminist reviews her personal history with the '70s feminist text, "The First Sex," by Elizabeth Gould Davis. Although today she finds some of Davis' ideas "laughable," in the end she embraces the text, recognizing that its importance lies no... [Read More]

Comments

Alice

You know, that's one I haven't read. I'm eager to pick up a copy. I'm trying to remember the title of a similar book, which was about the discovery (by two men) of an all-woman utopia, written in the 19th century... I think it was "Her town" or something... ugh, I'm drawing a blank. I'll try to remember it later.

I find 70s feminism so fascinating, perhaps because it was before my time, but moreso because it was just so radical-- we could use that now.

Morgaine Swann

How disappointing to find someone who has read the book and yet bought into the negative press. Davis' work was one of the first of its kind, and I don't think her theories are incorrect at all, particularly the part about the XY being a later mutation, and inherently flawed. Most of the genetic work I see being done lately only confirms that, though they bend over backwards to try and keep men the winners of the genetic lottery. Check out books by male scientists like The Redundant Male and Adam's Curse, and read between the lines. Did you know they've already passed a law in Wisconsin to prohibit parthenogenesis? They're terrified of the day women learn that we can reproduce without men - a fact announced back in 1979 that no one wants to talk about. I'm just waiting for some eager lesbian researcher to announce that the first little girl with two mommies is about to be born. It's entirely possible right now.

The fact that there was an ancient matriarchy has been and is still being deliberately obscured. And yes, I think it is fact - the patriarchy's scientists have to twist themselves into pretzels to ignore the influence of the Goddess in the ancient world. See Athana for more about this.

I consider The First Sex required reading for every feminist, and I challenge everyone who does read it to open their minds and consider the possibilities. That knee jerk reaction you've been indoctrinated to is your best sign that there's more going on there. I'm currently working on a sequel to Davis' book where I incorporate new information and show that she might have been correct, after all. It isn't that hard to do.

Zan

Morgaine,

How sad. You would trust modern unscientific theories above hard science and real history. Just because some societies worshiped female gods it doesn't mean they were real. I think the whole 70s feminism thing is very laughable.If the author of that book didn't hate men than what was her intention? I have never even heard of that book but it sounds like a bunch of nonsense. A little bit of whooey and a whole lot of bunk makes the foolish public buy a lot of Junk. You let me know when two women can go into a closet and, without medical manipulation of sperm or cloning, come out with a baby on their own. GET REAL!

HF, I don't mean all of this post to you. You seem pretty balanced about the book and use your brain. I just think it is amazing that a women would throw out recorded history for a new theory that someone dug up. It is the same with the Divinci Code book. People who believe that the Church has changed the Bible and left out books from it on purpose. These people are so excited that someone has disproved the Bible through a work of fiction that they forget to look to real history that has been recorded by scholars and historians since the dawn of Christianity. Even the secular History Channel had a special on the faulty history in the book and came to the conclusion that history cannot support the "facts" in the book. It is just a story.

-Zan

Alice

Morgaine- That bit about XY vs XX has always bothered me; everyone starts life as a female, yet we are described as merely the "default" sex, as though we're what happens if the zygote doesn't "succeed" in becoming male. Yet one could just as easily say that because female is the first sex, it's standard, and becoming male is a mutation.

One more point: I live in Wisconsin and I'm not sure I know what law you're talking about. It doesn't sound familiar.

Zan-- I don't mean to be rude, but about your criticism of Morgaine, that she is "trust[ing] modern unscientific theories above hard science and real history?" Um.... Zan, you're a Creationist; you trust a book above hard science and real history. Pot, meet kettle.

The Happy Feminist

Hi Morgaine-- I actually found your blog as I was writing this post, but I couldn't read it because I kept getting an error message stating "stack overflow at line 54." I hope to figure out what that's all about so I can read your blog!

I think perhaps I should have been more clear in my post that I don't necessarily regard Davis's theories regarding ancient matriarchies as disproven, just that they are as yet unproven. I am certainly keeping an open mind and I look forward to reading your sequel. As I said, I certainly find Davis's vision very appealing, but I want to make sure that I (and the feminist community as well) retain our objectivity in assessing her theories.

The Happy Feminist

Hi Zan --

I don't know that Davis was necessarily throwing out all of recorded history, so much as re-interpreting it. She was also trying to figure out what societies were like during pre-recorded times. I am no expert, but I don't think historians really know for sure whether ancient European societies (not Greece and Rome, but the ancient Celtic societies for example) were matriarchal or patriarchal. One thing Davis was really good at was showing how archaeologists and historians tended to just assume that societies was male-dominated. That's a bias, pure and simple. Davis opened people's minds to other possibilities-- whether she is right about those possibilities is another question.

Dr.Sue

Alice, the book was Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Mahina

Alice, the book you are referring to is "Herland" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and it is part of a genre of feminist utopian fiction published in the 70's and 80's (and not one of the best). Of course, the genre usually isn't about utopia at all, since the women's cultures tend to be created from after some kind of ecodevestation or violent splitting off from a patriarchal culture, (I don't remember if that is the case in "Herland"). I did an independent study in college (about 20 years ago!) comparing Sir Thomas Moore's Utopia to feminist ideas. Very interesting reading and much is out there if you look for it. Happy Reading!

I too, despite the flaws in some of the my early feminist thinking, relish the books I read and the ideas I considered. It was a time of finding and learning to love myself as a woman, and learning to challenge patriarchal norms, and I wouldn't trade that experience for any other in my life.

Rasyte

Hi, I want to know the significant of the pig, and the mushroom associated with the goddess or some of the goddesses

Rasyte

Oh, I to relish the books I read and there is no stopping me now, the more I learn the more I need to learn. Books I've read: THE GREAT COSMIC MOTHER(Sjoo & Mor); WHEN GOD WAS A WOMAN(Merlin Stone); MYSTERIES OF THE DARK MOON(Demetra George)and many more.

The comments to this entry are closed.