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A Politically Incorrect Feminist: Creating a Movement with Bitches, Lunatics, Dykes, Prodigies, Warriors, and Wonder Women

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A powerful and revealing memoir about the pioneers of modern-day feminism Phyllis Chesler was a pioneer of Second Wave Feminism. Chesler and the women who came out swinging between 1967-1972 integrated the want ads, brought class action lawsuits on behalf of economic discrimination, opened rape crisis lines and shelters for battered women, held marches and sit-ins for abort A powerful and revealing memoir about the pioneers of modern-day feminism Phyllis Chesler was a pioneer of Second Wave Feminism. Chesler and the women who came out swinging between 1967-1972 integrated the want ads, brought class action lawsuits on behalf of economic discrimination, opened rape crisis lines and shelters for battered women, held marches and sit-ins for abortion and equal rights, famously took over offices and buildings, and pioneered high profile Speak-outs. They began the first-ever national and international public conversations about birth control and abortion, sexual harassment, violence against women, female orgasm, and a woman’s right to kill in self-defense. Now, Chesler has juicy stories to tell. The feminist movement has changed over the years, but Chesler knew some of its first pioneers, including Gloria Steinem, Kate Millett, and Andrea Dworkin. These women were fierce forces of nature, smoldering figures of sin and soul, rock stars and action heroes in real life. Some had been viewed as whores, witches, and madwomen, but were changing the world and becoming major players in history. In Memoir of a Politically Incorrect Feminist, Chesler gets chatty while introducing the reader to some of feminism's major players and world-changers.


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A powerful and revealing memoir about the pioneers of modern-day feminism Phyllis Chesler was a pioneer of Second Wave Feminism. Chesler and the women who came out swinging between 1967-1972 integrated the want ads, brought class action lawsuits on behalf of economic discrimination, opened rape crisis lines and shelters for battered women, held marches and sit-ins for abort A powerful and revealing memoir about the pioneers of modern-day feminism Phyllis Chesler was a pioneer of Second Wave Feminism. Chesler and the women who came out swinging between 1967-1972 integrated the want ads, brought class action lawsuits on behalf of economic discrimination, opened rape crisis lines and shelters for battered women, held marches and sit-ins for abortion and equal rights, famously took over offices and buildings, and pioneered high profile Speak-outs. They began the first-ever national and international public conversations about birth control and abortion, sexual harassment, violence against women, female orgasm, and a woman’s right to kill in self-defense. Now, Chesler has juicy stories to tell. The feminist movement has changed over the years, but Chesler knew some of its first pioneers, including Gloria Steinem, Kate Millett, and Andrea Dworkin. These women were fierce forces of nature, smoldering figures of sin and soul, rock stars and action heroes in real life. Some had been viewed as whores, witches, and madwomen, but were changing the world and becoming major players in history. In Memoir of a Politically Incorrect Feminist, Chesler gets chatty while introducing the reader to some of feminism's major players and world-changers.

30 review for A Politically Incorrect Feminist: Creating a Movement with Bitches, Lunatics, Dykes, Prodigies, Warriors, and Wonder Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I am a feminist and have read a fair amount of feminist books over the last two years. When you're part of a movement/political platform or identify with a movement/political platform, I think it's important to read the classics (so you know where the movement is coming from), as well as some of the latest books from the up-and-comers (so your platform doesn't get stale). That's why I was so excited to see A POLITICALLY INCORRECT FEMINIS Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I am a feminist and have read a fair amount of feminist books over the last two years. When you're part of a movement/political platform or identify with a movement/political platform, I think it's important to read the classics (so you know where the movement is coming from), as well as some of the latest books from the up-and-comers (so your platform doesn't get stale). That's why I was so excited to see A POLITICALLY INCORRECT FEMINIST show up as an ARC on Netgalley. I had never heard of Phyllis Chesler, although apparently she is a notable second-wave feminist who moved in the same circles as Gloria Steinem and other "celebrity" feminists. I thought this was going to be a view on modern day feminism, from her unique perspective as someone who already saw the focus change a first time, and her thoughts on where we should go from here. First, a note. I really don't like writing negative reviews for memoirs because when you read fiction, you can at least make the argument that you're critiquing the plot and characters, and not the person who wrote them. With memoirs, it's much trickier, because it is personal. They are the direct recollections of the person who wrote them, put to paper. That makes criticism uncomfortably intimate, but I have to assume, as a book reviewer, that the author put the book out into the world feeling okay with that, and I am bound to be honest. In the beginning, I thought this book was fine. Chesler has a brash, direct style I didn't really like, but sometimes people have to be unlikable to get things done and I was willing to table that, if her ideas were good. She had a lot of things to say about rape and assault, and the historical context behind that was interesting (and sad); she wrote about how much we, as a society, have improved, even if we still have a lot to get done, and I agree with that. Women have achieved a lot. Things aren't exactly equal, but we have shrunk the disparity, and that gap is growing smaller still. Women: we get things done. It was also interesting to see all of the famous feminists she was in contact with, and some of her interactions with them when they were just rising to prominence and also, post-notoriety. There were four major blips that really made this an unpleasant read for me. As I said, I was expecting a broad perspective on feminism as a whole, and while I got that to some degree, a lot of this was very self-promotional. Huge chunks of this book are call backs to other books that Chesler wrote, and a lot of the stories about other feminists are either about how they are her best friends/acolytes or about how they screwed her over and she's still mad about it. It really cheapened the book for me, because it felt so petty and superficial. I also raised an eyebrow about the way she identified her sexuality. It's a bit vague in this book, but I left thinking that Chesler was a lesbian who came out late. Later, she does refer to her "bisexual revolution," but at another point, she refers to one of her heterosexual relationships as back when she was straight. It was a bit jarring for me, because bisexual erasure is something I have been more sensitive to lately seeing how some of my bi friends react to language in books and movies, and I thought that was an odd thing to say, especially coming from a bisexual, because it suggests that you can't be queer if you're only dating people of the opposite sex, which just isn't true. That was odd. I was willing to let both of those things go, however, because I get that women often don't get enough credit for their work (another subject of this book), and I have read a couple other feminists books with similar problems: where the authors name-dropped their bibliographies too much and couldn't stop talking trash over the people who did them wrong. Feminism is a frustrating ideology because there is a lot of misogyny on the inside, and on the outside you get all sorts of rude comments from people who want to demean you and trivialize your thoughts and beliefs, so I could understand that frustration even if I really did not like how it was affecting the book, and was willing to carry on. The part of the book that genuinely upset me was how she appears to view Muslim women. Towards the end of the book, she briefly mentions the 2017 women's march (which she did not go to, apparently, because she was busy). She writes about her disdain for the pussy hats, but more so for the "virtue-signalling" women wearing hijabs and headscarves in solidarity...of what? Muslim women? Her disgust seemed to be with the idea that non-Muslim people were wearing what she considers a symbol of oppression to a march about recognition of women but there are two HUGE major flaws with that argument. 1. Many Muslim women find the hijab empowering, for various reasons. What it comes down to is choice: if women choose to wear a garment in accordance with their faith, then it is not oppressive. 2. Her suggestion that the women wearing these were not real Muslims was odd. How would she know if they were real Muslims? I hate to ascribe motivations to people that they might not have, but if she was looking at these marches secondhand and making these assumptions, I'm forced to conclude that she was looking at skin color and facial characteristics to make these decisions about who was a "real" Muslim and who was "virtue-signalling" and that's, well, not only super icky, but also not very informed, since Islam is one of the most common religions worldwide, and those who practice it are as diverse in appearance as they are in creed. I suppose it's not surprising that she appears to harbor distaste for Muslims since she was essentially held prisoner by her Muslim husband in Kabul before her father-in-law helped her escape. I think she was only imprisoned for a few months, but that's still pretty awful. However, she appears to be coloring her view of the entire Muslim populace from that one incredibly negative interaction, and her writings on Islam are pretty upsetting, with their focus on honor-killings and her alleged calls to action for banning the niqab in Western countries. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia she claims that she has no problem with the hijab since it "does not obscure a women's facial identity," but that doesn't seem to be the case in this book. By this point in the book, I was skimming pretty heavily, as it had become highly self-referential. At the end of the book, I hit another bump. She writes about all the countries she gave talks at, and once more the book takes on an uncomfortable tone, particularly when she refers to the Swedish people lighting candles at their talks as a lovely pagan tradition, and seems to be mocking the Japanese feminists she talked to for being overly demure when they "titter" after she suggests a visit to the Tokyo red light district, before going on about how much of their pornography involves children (I wasn't sure what she meant by this - the pornographic manga? the school girl porn?). I don't know what she saw but it is worth mentioning that most pornographic manga does involve adults (who, admittedly, look very young) and school girl porn is not actual child pornography (although I can definitely see how it could make someone uncomfortable). Clearly, Phyllis Chesler is determined to live up to her title of Politically Incorrect Feminist. My goodness, I cringed so hard. I suppose it was my fault for picking up this book, called POLITICALLY INCORRECT FEMINIST, and not assuming that it was going to live up to its name. The thing is, I don't usually mind if books make me uncomfortable. ELOQUENT RAGE, written by a black feminist author, made me very uncomfortable because it caused me to have to confront a lot of my own privilege in order to wrap my mind about some of the problems with racism and intersectionality that plague feminism. It was not pleasant to read, but it was a good book, and had a lot of tight, reasonable points. This book, on the other hand, was not as organized, meandered a lot, and seemed to be determined to cause offensive without providing a reason behind that or giving a call to action to rally behind. I feel duped by that title's tagline, which promised me a new movement but instead felt utterly stagnant. Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy! 1.5 stars

  2. 4 out of 5

    l.

    The thing this book has going for it is that she knew pretty much everyone (white). It’s not so much about her views as a catalogue of I met x y z. There are some interesting anecdotes, but it’s still a bit of a chore. Some fun facts: -Mary Daly once invited random women off the street into her classroom and couldn’t get rid of them and had to call for help. - Rita Mae Brown once pursued a terrified Vivian Gornick. - Monique Wittig said she was forced out of Paris by Marxists. - Karla Jay can fix The thing this book has going for it is that she knew pretty much everyone (white). It’s not so much about her views as a catalogue of I met x y z. There are some interesting anecdotes, but it’s still a bit of a chore. Some fun facts: -Mary Daly once invited random women off the street into her classroom and couldn’t get rid of them and had to call for help. - Rita Mae Brown once pursued a terrified Vivian Gornick. - Monique Wittig said she was forced out of Paris by Marxists. - Karla Jay can fix a broken elevator if it comes down to it. - Martha Shelley, Marge Pierce and Chesler once found a radical leftist male friend’s stash of pornography and burned it. - Margaret Sloan Hunter threw some wild parties. - Betty Friedan was incredibly envious of Steinem. Some not fun revelations: - Jill Johnston was very anti Semitic. - Dworkin defended Stoltenberg re accusations of abuse of power/emotional abuse. - Maya Angelou defended her abusive son over her DIL - Alice Walker supported Chesler in speaking out about being sexually assaulted. Steinem and Morgan did not. Chesler seems to have some pretty repugnant and racist views but she doesn’t get into them. You just see them surface from time to time. She lost a star for them.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Talia Carner

    No political/social movement can be launched nor hurled forward by the faint-of-hearts. The second wave feminism required no less gumption and fierceness than the first wave. The first-wave feminism—that of the suffragists who won for women the rights to vote and own property—surged with the second wave, which started in the 1960's and gained momentum in the 1970's. It sought to broaden women’s rights to equality in family, sexuality and employment and sounded the battle cry for fights in areas No political/social movement can be launched nor hurled forward by the faint-of-hearts. The second wave feminism required no less gumption and fierceness than the first wave. The first-wave feminism—that of the suffragists who won for women the rights to vote and own property—surged with the second wave, which started in the 1960's and gained momentum in the 1970's. It sought to broaden women’s rights to equality in family, sexuality and employment and sounded the battle cry for fights in areas unique to women such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, marital rape, paid maternity leave, sexual harassment, affordable child care, and changes in divorce and custody laws. Paradoxically, civil rights, students’ rights and labor unions often failed to include women within their leadership ranks, nor did they give credence to women’s issues in either their ideologies or policies until feminists fought them internally to be heard and included. While in this excellent book Phyllis Chesler claims to not have written the history of the second wave feminism, she nevertheless does so through her own eyes and personal experiences that were deeply intertwined with the fabric of the movement. She recounts her involvement with almost every aspect of this gut-wrenching years-long struggle, and most importantly, offers an intimate introduction of the many players—their strengths and weaknesses, idiosyncrasies and yes, madness. The battles that raged on the road to women’s liberation were not only against the male hierarchy and dominance of political and social views that held women as childish, given to hormonal fluctuations, and incapable of thinking straight, but also internally. The fire in the belly that fueled feminists’ fervor and made them effective in ultimately achieving many of the movement’s goals burned also in the intensity of their diverse worldviews that often targeted other women. Backstabbing, public shaming, envy and demands for conformity crippled many talented women leaders. Many fell by the wayside, slunk away to lick the wounds inflicted not by their powerful male opponents and their centuries-old beliefs, but rather by their colleagues and fellow Amazonians—often close friends—right inside the movement and in the many organizations that sprouted within it. Luckily, Phyllis Chesler is one who remained standing through it all, albeit not unscathed. Her personal achievements as a psychologist who confronted the entire industry and forced it to change its perceptions and treatment of women patients is documented not only in this book, but in the astounding success of her ground-breaking book, Women and Madness (a book that was followed by over a dozen other best-sellers, each stepping into arenas no one had ever dared enter before.) Time and again, Chesler paid a personal price when she became the target of envy by those who did not wish to see stars rising within the feminist movement, by those who held the paradoxical idea that for true equality women should not publish over their own bylines (an unimagined request to be made against men writers,) or by early Lesbians who discredited heterosexual women who chose to marry and become mothers as Chesler did. The reasons for rancor could be many—or any—as Chesler analyzed in her book Women’s Inhumanity to Women, and as I experienced years later in a mini version when I traveled for three weeks with a group of fifty women to the 1995 International Women’s Conference in Beijing: Environmentalists against those who brought plastic forks; blue-collar working women against executives; Lesbians against heterosexuals; non-Jews against Jews; women of color against Caucasians; West Coast women against “Yankees”; health-conscious against coffee-drinkers…. Yes, reading the book reveals that indeed, the movement was created by “bitches, lunatics, prodigies and warriors,” as the book subtitle describes. Yet, overall, they were Wonder Women, because they lurched our society forward into the changes of the late 20th century and early 21st century—and to what we are now experiencing as the “third-wave feminism.” I was younger, yet growing up across the ocean I was unaware of any of these developments when I cultivated my own brand of feminist ideas—and was labeled by some friends “a castrating female.” Later, in New York, when I was drawn into a vicious custody battle, the judge listened to the argument that I should not be allowed to raise my two baby daughters because I had attended a conscious-raising seminar, and the former marriage counselor—a renowned psychologist—testified against me because I was “a feminist.” At the same time, the judge refused to put into evidence my lawyer’s presentation of the father’s passport proving that he traveled two to three weeks each month. Reading Phyllis Chesler’s book I recalled how, a new immigrant to the USA, I had sought out someone who could explain this. I checked with the local university, where I was studying for my masters’ degree, but in those days of pre- “Women Studies,” which Professor Chesler helped introduce, I didn’t even know how to articulate what kind of an expert I was looking for. Phyllis Chesler, a psychotherapist and a warrior, and the author of Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody, would have been perfect. The reluctance of women to acknowledge greatness and give credit to feminists who have paved the way for us continues. Several years ago I proposed to the Women National Book Association to honor Phyllis Chesler, a prolific author of eighteen books that changed the landscape of our society and helped shape for the better the lives of millions of women, to receive the Association’s yearly award. Her candidacy was rejected because she was “too controversial.” Controversial because, as she describes in A Politically Incorrect Feminist she demands that American feminists take a stand against the subjugation and brutality that is the lot of hundreds of million women in Muslim countries. Controversial because her unique research of “honor killing” in Western countries of daughters of Muslim families that shame their families by assimilating into Western culture or dare refuse arranged marriages is perceived as politically incorrect against Islam. Yes, “the personal is political,” and this book that charts the bravery and valor of so many amazing women has inspired me anew to fight for women’s rights and dignity both at home and abroad.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carol Douglas

    Phyllis Chesler has done many truly great things -- starting an early women's studies program, fighting for women in dire straits, and writing exceptional books, starting with Women and Madness. She recounts her history. She also tries to settle scores. I was sorry that she tells the details about the bouts of mental illness of her friends like Kate Millett. Yes, everyone knows they were mentally ill. Why do we need to know much more? Chesler says that Robin Morgan shafted her. I believe Chesler. Phyllis Chesler has done many truly great things -- starting an early women's studies program, fighting for women in dire straits, and writing exceptional books, starting with Women and Madness. She recounts her history. She also tries to settle scores. I was sorry that she tells the details about the bouts of mental illness of her friends like Kate Millett. Yes, everyone knows they were mentally ill. Why do we need to know much more? Chesler says that Robin Morgan shafted her. I believe Chesler. But she keeps telling that story and hurting because many friends didn't support her and confront Morgan. Morgan has become her Moby Dick. Endless pursuit didn't help Captain Ahab, and it hasn't helped Chesler. But what really bothered me was her criticism of Andrea Dworkin for staying with John Stoltenburg, though Chesler says he had affairs with gay men -- and Chesler didn't like working with him. Dworkin knew he was gay. I knew her in her last years, and I don't see how anyone could fault her for staying with the person who supported her in everything and took care of her in her final illness. If you, like me, are compulsive about reading about the Women's Movement (in which I have spent much of my life), you might want to read this book. Otherwise, I don't especially recommend it. Of course, it is well written. Chesler always writes well.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    I love the title of this book! The author's stories of the women that created the freedoms that I enjoy as a woman today were inspiring. I loved reading about how far woman have come and about the women who made it possible for us to be treated equally in the workplace and outside of it. I love the title of this book! The author's stories of the women that created the freedoms that I enjoy as a woman today were inspiring. I loved reading about how far woman have come and about the women who made it possible for us to be treated equally in the workplace and outside of it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    [I have strong feelings about this one--too much feminist misogyny and ego for me to be objective.]

  7. 4 out of 5

    Book Him Danno

    Review: (Not so much a review as a Opinion Piece mixed with a Review) I have very strong review about Feminism. I believe Feminism started to give women a choice but today it seems to have taken on a different voice. Where the women who choose say to stay home and raise a family is looked down upon by those who choose a the work force Vice versa. I have found the word Feminist or Feminism to be almost a curse word depending on the circle of friends I belong to while others cheer and hold strong t Review: (Not so much a review as a Opinion Piece mixed with a Review) I have very strong review about Feminism. I believe Feminism started to give women a choice but today it seems to have taken on a different voice. Where the women who choose say to stay home and raise a family is looked down upon by those who choose a the work force Vice versa. I have found the word Feminist or Feminism to be almost a curse word depending on the circle of friends I belong to while others cheer and hold strong to that name. I decided to review this book because I wanted to full understand what a person who was around for the beginning of feminism and what she has seen and witness. What I enjoyed was the Authors ability to see men as part of Feminism as they helped women worked side by side women. She deadicated this book to men and women. The author makes it very clear this book isn't about the Rise or Second Rise of Feminism it is about a daughter of working poor immigrants and she hopes it will help and guide others. Phyllis Chesler covers everything from her childhood to being help captive in Kabul in the 1960's and what she witnessed during her time. "Sisterhood is Powerful." That is a strong statement when all sisters are willing to listen to one another view and accept that they might not always agree but will still be sisters. However I have learned that is not always the case and very experienced it many times myself. A Politically Incorrect Feminist is an interesting history from he view point of Phyllis Chesler. While I don't agree with everything she has to say I can't doubt the experiences she has lived and the women she has fought for. The reason for 3 stars is she focuses on the voices of women fought loudly, with violence and doesn't focuses on the woman who fought quickly and within their homes and with their little girls like my mother did. (My sisters Have Masters Degree in Education, Phd in Education, Lawyer, and a Dietitian. While I might not have a degree my voice is no less quite and my knowledge no less equal to their when it comes to the experiances of life. As someone who was raised by a stay at home mother who told her 4 daughters they could be anything they wanted to be. She showed me how to be strong fight for what I know to be right while still being a woman and respecting those around me whether Males or Female. I was raised to respect women who choose different from the decision I choose. I had a job at the age of 12 and had a many different jobs until my first child turned a year old. At that point I had to make a decision. I wasn't a great employee and I wasn't being a great mom either. I knew I had to choose and it wasn't easy for me. I finally decided to stay at home. I have 4 children and I am raise my boys to respect women and their authority and I am raising my girls that they can do and be whoever they want to be. Feminism gave women a choice. When we make that choice we become part of a sisterhood but in that sisterhood we need to respect those who decided differently from us. I am raising a my children to be respectful men and women. My boys will open door for everyone and my girls will open doors for everyone and they will all do it with respect of those around them. Men and Women are not equal but we have the ability to use our difference to become equals in the world. A man isn't above a woman and a Woman isn't above a Man. When we do that we fail as a society.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alena Gotz

    Finally a book I could learn from about the history of feminism without having to suffer crazy ideological indoctrination. Well done, Phyllis Chester, this is a book I will recommend to my two daughters, both in male dominated professions as was I during my career, so they can gain most valuable and objective insights into the movement you helped create. Thank you for helping to liberate countless women, both their lives and their minds.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia Royal

    Chester takes a very strong stance in the feminist movement and gives some background knowledge and personal testimony on historical movements and women's progression. Great referencing read and definitely gained a newfound perspective on the large scope of feminism and what it really means today versus what it began as. Recommended read for those interested in gaining perspective and fresh perception on feminism. Chester takes a very strong stance in the feminist movement and gives some background knowledge and personal testimony on historical movements and women's progression. Great referencing read and definitely gained a newfound perspective on the large scope of feminism and what it really means today versus what it began as. Recommended read for those interested in gaining perspective and fresh perception on feminism.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    Part gossip, part analysis, part autobiography, A Politically Incorrect Feminist is a riveting read, offering an intimate, sometimes inspiring, sometimes disillusioning glimpse into second-wave feminism in the U.S. I’ll try to write a longer review later, when I have the book handy for reference.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aye

    This book is for serious feminists. People who are willing to hear about the pitfalls of the movement but still be able to see why being a feminist is so important whilst being careful not to fall into another feminist clique. I can relate to Phyllis’s story and I admire her bravery and courage to continuously give her all to the movement despite some of the setbacks and blowbacks she experienced whilst doing her best to keep the movement going. I recommend anybody to read this but I hope that t This book is for serious feminists. People who are willing to hear about the pitfalls of the movement but still be able to see why being a feminist is so important whilst being careful not to fall into another feminist clique. I can relate to Phyllis’s story and I admire her bravery and courage to continuously give her all to the movement despite some of the setbacks and blowbacks she experienced whilst doing her best to keep the movement going. I recommend anybody to read this but I hope that those who read it become as strong as Phyllis is and had to be. Change is not for the faint hearted that’s for sure!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I'll hold my hand up to start with, I picked this book up mainly because the sub-title caught my eye, I'd never actually heard of Phyllis Chesler but born in the 1940s New York she has an incredible journey to share, and her new memoir A Politically Incorrect Feminist doesn't seem to hold much back. More than anything, I found this book genuinely interesting; it wasn't always the most thrilling or compelling read but it was always interesting. Chesler was there to witness and play a large part in I'll hold my hand up to start with, I picked this book up mainly because the sub-title caught my eye, I'd never actually heard of Phyllis Chesler but born in the 1940s New York she has an incredible journey to share, and her new memoir A Politically Incorrect Feminist doesn't seem to hold much back. More than anything, I found this book genuinely interesting; it wasn't always the most thrilling or compelling read but it was always interesting. Chesler was there to witness and play a large part in a part of feminist history I (embarrassingly) know very little about, so I am glad I've read it. It definitely accessible, I went into this pretty blank and didn't feel like I was missing out by not being her number one fan. There are a lot of names in this book, for people who have follow Chesler's career or been around during the times she's describing they may well be familiar to you but I found it quite confusing at times. There was also what felt like hundreds of references to her many previous works, obviously she's written a lot of books and they have been a massive part of her life and career so it can be expected that they'll come up but it started to feel a bit repetitive with the phrase "In my book..." appearing in every other paragraph; I ended up giving this three stars as I was quite lost in places.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Thoughtcrimes

    How I love second-wave feminists. Say what you will about them, but they paved the way for countless women and girls, and their always-criticised, always-underestimated, always-devalued work was a complete game-changer. Chesler's autobiography is, at times, quite conflicting: pages upon pages of dirty-laundry-airing, a bit of hypocrisy, a lack of understanding for the women who did not want her to introduce men and boys into their much-needed safe spaces, criticism against women and at times the How I love second-wave feminists. Say what you will about them, but they paved the way for countless women and girls, and their always-criticised, always-underestimated, always-devalued work was a complete game-changer. Chesler's autobiography is, at times, quite conflicting: pages upon pages of dirty-laundry-airing, a bit of hypocrisy, a lack of understanding for the women who did not want her to introduce men and boys into their much-needed safe spaces, criticism against women and at times the defence of men as a class, a tendency to see herself as personally victimised and oppressed by lesbian feminists ... but then there are others sides of the book; tender aspects that show just how much she loved the very selfsame feminist contemporaries that hurt her, how much loyalty and passion she felt toward them, how deeply intertwined their lives remained, despite countless fallings-out and internal conflicts. At times, A Politically Incorrect Feminist reads less like a biographical account, and more like a reckoning. It is a conflicting book, an angry one, a sad, frustrating, wondrous, enlightening, personal, precious, flawed, deeply, deeply human book. Full of fondness. Full of hurt. Sweet, sweet women.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I am a second wave feminist who was politically active at the same time that Dr.Phyllis Chesler writes about. I have met her cast of characters at different political meetings and conferences and oh what a time it was. Dr Chesler writes about these times with wit, pain, honesty with a sharp eye for the contradictions, the drama, the turbulence and plain meanness and sweetness of it all. Like all social movements there are cliques, backstabbing, genuine animosity between members and among differe I am a second wave feminist who was politically active at the same time that Dr.Phyllis Chesler writes about. I have met her cast of characters at different political meetings and conferences and oh what a time it was. Dr Chesler writes about these times with wit, pain, honesty with a sharp eye for the contradictions, the drama, the turbulence and plain meanness and sweetness of it all. Like all social movements there are cliques, backstabbing, genuine animosity between members and among different factions of the movement. Yet, my overall feeling of the time was how exhilarating it was like to be in a movement that was making real change for women. I found myself chuckling that Dr Chesler focused on the gossip, the backstabbing and infighting of the time and in her book, was doing the same. A great read, an incisive look at a social justice movement with all of its warts, failures and beauty. Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review this book for an honest opinion.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Madi Graham

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is an interesting account of second wave feminism as it was happening and as it grew into third wave feminism. It touches on all of the controversial happenings of the 60’s-90’s and Chesler’s generation of feminists. The book gave interesting insight to the actual realities of many second wave feminist’s lives. The biggest issue i have with this book is the mild (?) islamophobia. While i can kind of understand where she was coming from (given that she was held against her will by her afghan This is an interesting account of second wave feminism as it was happening and as it grew into third wave feminism. It touches on all of the controversial happenings of the 60’s-90’s and Chesler’s generation of feminists. The book gave interesting insight to the actual realities of many second wave feminist’s lives. The biggest issue i have with this book is the mild (?) islamophobia. While i can kind of understand where she was coming from (given that she was held against her will by her afghan husband and his family in afghanistan for several months and experienced first hand the sexism in islamic countries) in saying that hijabs and niqabs are oppressive, in places with freedom of religion, from my understanding at least, it is generally the woman’s choice to decide to cover herself up and is a spiritual journey that takes years to become comfortable with. I don’t think her opposition to woman’s choice in non-islamic countries was justified at all and it just didn’t sit with me right? i don’t know if this is politically incorrect or religiously incorrect but from the knowledge i currently have, the statements made about hijabs and the likes are islamophobic, and coming from a generally cultured woman and vehement feminist, i was not expecting these kinds of words. Otherwise the book was well written and generally informative, had a little bit too much drama included for my taste but a good insight into late 20th century feminism.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emy Majerus

    I suppose because this book is slated under the memoir category as opposed to feminist literature it disappointed me in terms of it's content. I was hoping for a view into the second wave feminist movement and instead this book is very one sided and focused more on listing off injustices and personal connections than actually providing any information. If you cut out the name dropping and repetitive phrases this book could be half as long. Also I can't help but be offended at her comments about t I suppose because this book is slated under the memoir category as opposed to feminist literature it disappointed me in terms of it's content. I was hoping for a view into the second wave feminist movement and instead this book is very one sided and focused more on listing off injustices and personal connections than actually providing any information. If you cut out the name dropping and repetitive phrases this book could be half as long. Also I can't help but be offended at her comments about today's feminists "failing the movement" which felt like a very generalized statement even though she spent this whole memoir talking about how the feminist movement has many sides.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Edy

    I am amazed by the sheer brilliance of Phyllis Chesler. Her ability to parse the nuances of the complexities of all of feminism’s iterations are amazing. Her life path was remarkably brave. I am in deep gratitude for pioneers like Chesler in helping to work towards that ever elusive goal of gender equality. I admire her ability to separate personalities from politics and speak to every single person in the room. As someone who also grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home, I genuinely love Chesler for I am amazed by the sheer brilliance of Phyllis Chesler. Her ability to parse the nuances of the complexities of all of feminism’s iterations are amazing. Her life path was remarkably brave. I am in deep gratitude for pioneers like Chesler in helping to work towards that ever elusive goal of gender equality. I admire her ability to separate personalities from politics and speak to every single person in the room. As someone who also grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home, I genuinely love Chesler for being able to see value in Judaism and Israel even if we harbor our own personal grievances with our own childhood dramas. Thank you, Phyllis Chesler, for your lifetime commitment to human rights.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I really loved this book. Phyllis shared so many interesting personal stories about the people I learned as the founders of feminism. Hearing her talk about the struggles Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem had was so fascinating to me. These movements are so complicated and everyone has their own agenda, even the leaders. It was incredible to hear it from her perspective.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Evalyn

    A good perspective on the self-destructive, self-sabotaging presence in the feminist movement. It didn't live up to its title though; I found it quite boring. Felt like a list of names time to time, I had to push myself to finish. All the same I appreciate having had the opportunity to read and comment on the preprint edition proffered to me through a Goodreads Giveaway. A good perspective on the self-destructive, self-sabotaging presence in the feminist movement. It didn't live up to its title though; I found it quite boring. Felt like a list of names time to time, I had to push myself to finish. All the same I appreciate having had the opportunity to read and comment on the preprint edition proffered to me through a Goodreads Giveaway.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bathsheva Gladstone

    Recommend highly. Informative, moving, flows and a joy to read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ella Shepherd

    Largely self-congratulatory but a true love letter to feminism

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alissa

    Interesting memoir, audiobook is read by the author.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    10/10 will have to read again before teaching a feminist theory course

  24. 5 out of 5

    KP

  25. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tegan

  27. 5 out of 5

    Britta Böhler

  28. 5 out of 5

    Felicia Czochanski

  29. 4 out of 5

    Modry Oblacik

  30. 5 out of 5

    Justin

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