THE WORD OF A WOMAN: Feminist Dispatches 1968-1991 by Robin Morgan

THE WORD OF A WOMAN: Feminist Dispatches 1968-1991

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Essays from the editor-in-chief of Ms., including: an interesting look back at the feminist wave she helped start 20 years ago; some fine partisan journalism; and some perfectly dreadful flights of fancy. The earliest essays here are classics of late-60's, left-inflected early feminist rhetoric to which Morgan has added context and reflection through self-critical introductory notes. A cofounder of the Sisterhood la Global Institute, Morgan is moat impressive as a journalist and activist coveting international women's issues, taking readers on personal, detailed visits to unfamiliar realms. She meets with Palestinian women (after the start of the Intifada and two years after an earlier visit to the West Bank and Gaza Strip that accounted for the strongest section of The Demon Lover, 1989), finding them still struggling to maintain constructive values in counterpoint to war-culture--although young Palestinian girls who two years earlier dreamed of being teachers and doctors now say they hope to become ""the mother of a martyr."" Morgan's 1988 visit to the Philippines introduces local women dealing with male domination, economic oppression, and sexual tourism. The issues raised--as well as the rural women who walk 12 miles to attend a meeting on women's rights--prove that feminism is not a purely middle-class concern. But when Morgan eschews journalism for creativity, her musings on metaphor and her muddled attempts to link feminism and modern physics (as in The Anatomy of Freedom, 1982) show clumsy self-indulgence. Too valuable to be ignored, but too often testing the reader's patience.

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 1992
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Norton