A SEX REVOLUTION by Lois Waisbrooker


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Here, resurrected, is an 1893 fantasy--at once quaint and alarmingly current--by forgotten suffragist Lois Waisbrooker. The narrator, a ""childless widow,"" falls asleep after reading another feminist novel, The Strike of A Sex; and, stimulated by earlier conversations with her ""infidel"" old aunt, she dreams of a confrontation between the beautiful Lovella, the embodied spirit of motherhood, and Selferedo, the embodied spirit of the love of power, clad in an officer's uniform. Selferedo's plans for war are foiled when, at Lovella's urging, the wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters of the would-be soldiers vow to go with them to battle. His power fallen to ""the power of woman's love,"" Selferedo turns the country over to Lovella to run for 50 years, just enough time (he thinks)for women to make a thorough mess of things. Men have been too hasty in working wonders of progress, Lovella says, leaving hordes of victims of ""the economic system"" who march past on cue: wretched prostitutes, unhappy wives, ""unwilling"" mothers, the poor and unemployed, drunkards. The parade prompts a digression on prohibition--no cure, Lovella argues, for drunkenness, a disease which will be cured only when women have revolutionized society and ""the conditions for perfect motherhood are secured."" Lovella, indeed, wants ""a system of society which will not grind up one portion of its members for the benefit of other portions."" And, like any good bureaucrat, she dispatches everyone to study the problem for five years. This charming revolutionary relic of a more optimistic age is well worth reading; the long introduction by Para McAllister, more chatty than informative, is not.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1984
Publisher: New Society