by rantywoman

Sad news:

From reading the article, it sounds like a lot of crazy behavior befitting crazy times, but Firestone did have some brilliant, original ideas:

“Firestone took Marx further and put women in the picture,” she said. “This was our oppression, all laid out.” And not just women’s oppression. The book’s longest chapter, “Down with Childhood,” chronicled the ways that children’s lives had become constrained and regulated in modern society. “With the increase and exaggeration of children’s dependence, woman’s bondage to motherhood was also extended to its limits,” Firestone wrote. “Women and children were now in the same lousy boat.” The argument drew the appreciation of one notable feminist, which must have pleased Firestone. Simone de Beauvoir told Ms. that only Firestone “has suggested something new,” noting how the book “associates Women’s Liberation with children’s liberation.”

The liberator for Firestone was the right to be loved for oneself, not as part of a patronage system “to pass on power and privilege.” She was trying to imagine a “home” where “all relationships would be based on love alone,” a world, to quote the last words of the book, that allows “love to flow unimpeded.”

A passage farther along in the article gave me the willies. It’s one of the things that I worried about living alone in L.A.– that if I ever slipped down a rabbit hole of delusional thinking there would be no one keeping tabs. Certainly one comes across a lot of that here. I also, admittedly, often have a sense of social defeat:

In 2005, when Jean-Paul Selten and Elizabeth Cantor-Graae, experts on the epidemiology of schizophrenia, reviewed various risk factors—foremost among them migration, racism, and urban upbringing—they found that the factors all involved chronic isolation and loneliness, a condition that they called “social defeat.” They theorized that “social support protects against the development of schizophrenia.”