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Women, Culture, and Politics

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A collection of her speeches and writings which address the political and social changes of the past decade as they are concerned with the struggle for racial, sexual, and economic equality.


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A collection of her speeches and writings which address the political and social changes of the past decade as they are concerned with the struggle for racial, sexual, and economic equality.

30 review for Women, Culture, and Politics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Monique

    I've read this book several times...so ready to teach my women's studies class! I've read this book several times...so ready to teach my women's studies class!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sunny

    essential readinggggg

  3. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    This set of essays is mostly derived from speeches Dr Davis gave in the late 1980s, during Reagan's second administration, though a few are from earlier. I'm not sure it's really intended that a reader should sit down with an apple and just plow through this collection end-to-end as if it were a literary snack: there is some overlap of issues in many of the chapters, which is to be expected because they originated as talks to a variety of audiences, from women's groups to graduating high school This set of essays is mostly derived from speeches Dr Davis gave in the late 1980s, during Reagan's second administration, though a few are from earlier. I'm not sure it's really intended that a reader should sit down with an apple and just plow through this collection end-to-end as if it were a literary snack: there is some overlap of issues in many of the chapters, which is to be expected because they originated as talks to a variety of audiences, from women's groups to graduating high school classes, over a number of years. Throughout the volume she centers on women's issues, racial issues, and economic issues; particularly as those all affect the working class and prospects for social progress. A few of the essays could be profitably used as required reading in modern US history classes, and her comments about social problems are often equally valid today. One interesting essay is about her experiences in Egypt; another covers South African politics, and Winnie Mandela in particular; another is all about Clara Zetkin (a name I didn't previously know). The last few essays concern the arts, photography, and so forth; and in one she touches upon some issues in her own life, such as her imprisonment. (So I urge you to go forth and read her bio on Wikipedia.) The thing that struck me most glaringly about every single essay in the book is not the fact that they're all articulate, pointed, and sometimes uplifting... But that, sadly, there has been remarkably little improvement in civil rights, racial equality, and women's status since the 1980s. Truly, as I've read on signs for several protest marches over the years, we live in a world of "same shit, different century", and we obviously need to keep protesting this crap because in 2017, we seem to be in a horrifying downward tailspin back into the Dark Ages. (Haha, so now you know my political leaning, if that wasn't obvious before.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Definitely outdated... but as a child of the early 90's I have no conceptualization of the Reagan years. I obviously know the infamous nature of his presidency and in particular the economic and social implications his public policy had in shifting the the dominate political discourse of the US to the right; ensuring the power of global corporations, right wing pundits, and further veiling white supremacy in the individualistic rhetoric of neoliberal multiculturalism... That being said, I felt t Definitely outdated... but as a child of the early 90's I have no conceptualization of the Reagan years. I obviously know the infamous nature of his presidency and in particular the economic and social implications his public policy had in shifting the the dominate political discourse of the US to the right; ensuring the power of global corporations, right wing pundits, and further veiling white supremacy in the individualistic rhetoric of neoliberal multiculturalism... That being said, I felt that Angela Davis's collection of speeches and essays (in which this book embodies) provides a powerful analysis and radically articulate critique of the political, societal, and economic climate that defined the 80's. The importance of this text emerges (for me) in the connections evoked between the forgotten and ignored subjectivities (i.e. queer, of color, women, immigrant, and poor communities) that were the real victims of Reagan's administration. Now more than ever, I understand the importance of historical memory and its roll in defining the collective consciousness of those who are oppressed by American hegemony. I recommend this book to all the members of my generation, as tool in helping conceptualize the evolution of white supremacy, racism, economic inequality, and women's oppression at the end of the 20th century.

  5. 4 out of 5

    erica

    definitely dated, but there are still some very important discussions in this book that still pertain to the world today

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tate

    Angela Davis is just incredible, but sometimes you don't have time to sit down and really "take in" an entire book. "Women, Culture, & Politics" is great because it is a collection of speeches and other short, contained pieces. Her essay on her experiences in Egypt should be read by anyone working in the social sciences. Angela Davis is just incredible, but sometimes you don't have time to sit down and really "take in" an entire book. "Women, Culture, & Politics" is great because it is a collection of speeches and other short, contained pieces. Her essay on her experiences in Egypt should be read by anyone working in the social sciences.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shanice

    While I do think this book illuminated for me the havoc Reagan wreaked on marginalized people I do think the book is very dated. It helped me to contextualize our present at some turns and others I felt like some of it wasn't terribly relevant to me. While I do think this book illuminated for me the havoc Reagan wreaked on marginalized people I do think the book is very dated. It helped me to contextualize our present at some turns and others I felt like some of it wasn't terribly relevant to me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sarita

    this book totally politicized me. Angela Davis for President!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Lots to think over after reading this book. It made me want to dive deeper into other topics that I don't know very much about, like the Vietnam War and the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia. Lots to think over after reading this book. It made me want to dive deeper into other topics that I don't know very much about, like the Vietnam War and the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Cox

    I am so thankful for Angela Davis and everything that she has written. At this point I have read quite a few of her books, and I am still constantly in awe of how much there is to learn. She just doesn't miss. I was particularly wowed by some of the last chapters of this book, as they addressed the value of art. Ms Davis uses the work of Lenin and Engels to explore the power of art as a kind of scaffolding or framework for understanding the infinite potential of raw human emotion and as a decide I am so thankful for Angela Davis and everything that she has written. At this point I have read quite a few of her books, and I am still constantly in awe of how much there is to learn. She just doesn't miss. I was particularly wowed by some of the last chapters of this book, as they addressed the value of art. Ms Davis uses the work of Lenin and Engels to explore the power of art as a kind of scaffolding or framework for understanding the infinite potential of raw human emotion and as a decidedly partisan tool for both the embodiment and transformation of a society's consciousness. Earlier in the book, I was very moved and humbled by the chapter on Egyptian women. Angela Davis was asked to visit Egypt, interview Egyptian women, and write a short article on their sexual politics. This article condemns the traditionally colonialist Western lens of practices such as female genital mutilation and head covering, and instead explores the nuanced and complicated ways that Egyptian women themselves speak of their own traditions, customs, politics, and sexuality, and condemns the writing assignment itself as inherently paternalistic. I also really enjoyed the chapter on Clara Zetkin and was happy to recognize her name in a Socialist Feminist Day School 3 days after reading the chapter on her. "If one examines the historical development of human societies, it becomes clear that private property emerged at the moment when women became the sexual property of their husbands. Just as the advent of sexual oppression of women coincided with the advent of oppression of social classes, in order for women's bodies to be fully liberated, the social system responsible for that oppression must be eliminated." Page 146 "Clara Zetkin's arguments in support of women workers contain a logic that can be effectively employed today in defense of stronger affirmative action programs not only for women, but for the racially and nationally oppressed as well." Page 158 "In other words, the participation of women workers would be as indispensable an element in the battle for socialism as the victory of socialism would be in the struggle for women's emancipation." 158 “The granting of suffrage to the female sex does note eliminate the class differences between the exploiters and the exploited from which the most serious obstacles to the free ad harmonious development of the female proletarian are derived.” Page 162 “Bourgeois aesthetics has always sought to situate art in a transcendent realm, beyond ideology, beyond socioeconomic realities, and certainly beyond the class struggle. In an infinite variety of ways, art has been represented as the pure subjective product of individual creativity. Lenin’s 1905 article “Party Organization and Party Literature” challenged this vision of art and developed the principle of partisanship in art and literature - a principle with which many progressive artists of the 1930’s were, at least implicitly, in agreement.” Page 206 “If cultural workers utilize their talents on an ever-increasing scale to accomplish the task of awakening and sensitizing people to the need for a mass challenge to the ultralight, the prospects for strengthening and further uniting the antimonopoly movement, bringing together labor, Afro-Americans, women, and peace activists will greatly increase. As that movement wins victories, existing artists will draw inspiration from the creative energy of this process, and new artists will emerge as a result. If we are able to set this dynamic in motion, we will begin to move securely in the direction of economic, racial, and sexual emancipation - indeed, toward the ultimate goal of socialism - and we will be able to anticipate a peaceful future, free of the threat of nuclear war.” Page 2167

  11. 4 out of 5

    Corey Burton

    Another Queen just doing Queen things! Great way to conclude this year's Women's History Month! Angela Davis has consistently stood up for the oppressed, disenfranchised, underserved, misunderstood, misrepresented, and all of that! Excellence exemplified consistently! I loved reading this because it gave insight not only into her stances for various causes of the 60's, 70's, and 80's, but also showed how those same issues still exist today. "We must strive to 'lift as we climb.' In other words, w Another Queen just doing Queen things! Great way to conclude this year's Women's History Month! Angela Davis has consistently stood up for the oppressed, disenfranchised, underserved, misunderstood, misrepresented, and all of that! Excellence exemplified consistently! I loved reading this because it gave insight not only into her stances for various causes of the 60's, 70's, and 80's, but also showed how those same issues still exist today. "We must strive to 'lift as we climb.' In other words, we must climb in such a way as to guarantee that all of our sisters, regardless of social class, and indeed all of our brothers, climb with us. This must be the essential dynamic of our quest for power-- a principle that must not only determine our struggles as Afro-American women, but also given all authentic struggles of dispossessed people." There were a number of quotes/points that stood out from her speeches in this book: "Perhaps the biggest crime that colonialism left our country, has indeed left all former colonies, is the education system. This is so because that system was used to teach our people an attitude of self hate, to get them to abandon our history, our culture, our values." "We must not presume that authentic solidarity will automatically flow from the recognition of the simple fact that women of color are the most oppressed human beings in our society." Again, we don't need allies, we need accomplices. "Today, the world does not really belong to its inhabitants. There are those-- a minute segment of the population-- who have usurped most of the wealth in the capitalist world and there are others--the vast majority--who have comparatively little. Many in the majority don't even have enough to survive."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ana Gabrielle

    Angela Davis is a living legend. Her speeches and essays from the 80s cover an impressive range of activist topics —from the problems of bourgeois feminism to black women’s health to the threat of nuclear war—and her work is explicitly rooted in class analysis and socialism. Despite being a bit dated, the essays touch on manifestations of problems that still afflict this country, maybe now more prominently than any time since Reagan. And truly one never tires of digs at Reagan, of which you can e Angela Davis is a living legend. Her speeches and essays from the 80s cover an impressive range of activist topics —from the problems of bourgeois feminism to black women’s health to the threat of nuclear war—and her work is explicitly rooted in class analysis and socialism. Despite being a bit dated, the essays touch on manifestations of problems that still afflict this country, maybe now more prominently than any time since Reagan. And truly one never tires of digs at Reagan, of which you can expect many if you read this. Nothing earth shattering for me personally, but a great starting point for anyone interested in Davis’s work. Her chapters on visiting Egypt and Nairobi for an international women’s conference were salient in a time where our national politics is especially tumultuous. Despite the influence of American imperialism taking up so much space in the political sphere, it’s so important to engage with and understand the struggles of working class people abroad. 3.5/5⭐️

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katerina Ioannides

    Reading this series of lectures & essays on racial, gender & economic inequality during the Reagan administration is almost eerie. So little has changed. The names and statistics are dated but the need to elevate the voices of queer women of color and acknowledge the deep stratification in America is so, so pertinent. From the introduction: "The work of the political activist inevitably involves a certain tension between the requirement that positions be taken on current issues as they arise and t Reading this series of lectures & essays on racial, gender & economic inequality during the Reagan administration is almost eerie. So little has changed. The names and statistics are dated but the need to elevate the voices of queer women of color and acknowledge the deep stratification in America is so, so pertinent. From the introduction: "The work of the political activist inevitably involves a certain tension between the requirement that positions be taken on current issues as they arise and the desire that one’s contributions will somehow survive the ravages of time. In this sense, the most difficult challenge facing the activist is to respond fully to the needs of the moment and to do so in such a way that the light one attempts to shine on the present Will simultaneously illuminate the future."

  14. 4 out of 5

    A

    This collection of speeches and essays is a mixed bag: some pieces are broad overviews of a wide variety of social issues (these are usually the speeches), and others go more into depth on specific issues. The longest essay, about the state of the women’s movement in Egypt when Davis traveled there, was most interesting to me. The essays on the revolutionary potential of Black art were good but very basic. Throughout the collection, Davis remains committed to a worldwide peace movement and nucle This collection of speeches and essays is a mixed bag: some pieces are broad overviews of a wide variety of social issues (these are usually the speeches), and others go more into depth on specific issues. The longest essay, about the state of the women’s movement in Egypt when Davis traveled there, was most interesting to me. The essays on the revolutionary potential of Black art were good but very basic. Throughout the collection, Davis remains committed to a worldwide peace movement and nuclear disarmament while abstaining from attacking existing socialist states; leftists in America today could take a leaf from her book. It’s a good read, and I’d recommend it if you want insights into the tenor of the progressive movement in the 80s.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    Honestly, this is excellent. It is well written, well thought, well argued. The book is a series of talks and articles from the late 80's. The author does an incredible job of relating every fact to the general argument. I want to also comment on how there is an exceptional amount of information here. There is a chapter for everyone. If you are interested in any aspect of women's liberation, from voting to art to medical practice, it is in this book. This was an eye-opening, jaw-dropping read. T Honestly, this is excellent. It is well written, well thought, well argued. The book is a series of talks and articles from the late 80's. The author does an incredible job of relating every fact to the general argument. I want to also comment on how there is an exceptional amount of information here. There is a chapter for everyone. If you are interested in any aspect of women's liberation, from voting to art to medical practice, it is in this book. This was an eye-opening, jaw-dropping read. Terrifying is how this book is still 100% relevant today.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Pepper Ex-Fan

    This is really great for those who need to know why Reagan was especially awful, beyond creating the welfare queen stereotype. Also, did you know that decades before Tamir Rice was murdered when playing with a toy gun, the same thing happened to a 5yo bo (and countless others, I'm sure)? Also worth mentioning is how headscarves and female genital mutilation were already white-feminist issues back in the 1970 (with brown women already rolling their eyes at the presumptions and cluelessness of US w This is really great for those who need to know why Reagan was especially awful, beyond creating the welfare queen stereotype. Also, did you know that decades before Tamir Rice was murdered when playing with a toy gun, the same thing happened to a 5yo bo (and countless others, I'm sure)? Also worth mentioning is how headscarves and female genital mutilation were already white-feminist issues back in the 1970 (with brown women already rolling their eyes at the presumptions and cluelessness of US white women), although I'm pretty sure these became hot topics again in the 2000s. What are we doing, if we can't be bothered to learning from the past and build on existing knowledge?

  17. 4 out of 5

    Asia Garcia

    As a Nicaraguan daughter of immigrants fleeing the atrocities of the Somoza dynasty, not only did I see myself and my family in this work, but I also felt incredibly emboldened by Angela Davis’ understanding of the interconnectedness of global affairs. The last chapter was my favorite. Everyone should read this

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kalorra

    Essential read for all people interested in the livelihood and culture of Black women and their families in America, along with the people living in the global south. Great dialogue and excerpts from many great writers, artists, and activists. Perfectly summarized life under Reagan’s administration and how many were affected socially, politically, and economically. Do read !!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sara-Jayne Poletti

    I felt that this collection was not as strong as Women, Race, and Class. There were far more incendiary and enthusiastic feminist ramblings in my margins this time around. Still worth a read for some of the finer essays, though!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dani

    Excellent analysis of the political landscape of the 1970s-80s, an intersectional book of speeches that addresses an array of women's issues taking into account classism, racism and homophobia. A great starter book for introduction to Angela Davis and political theory. Excellent analysis of the political landscape of the 1970s-80s, an intersectional book of speeches that addresses an array of women's issues taking into account classism, racism and homophobia. A great starter book for introduction to Angela Davis and political theory.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Juliet Birch

    The content of this book is very specific to the period in which is was written (the 80s) and, although I learned quite a bit, I did not find it to be as generalizable or useful as a tool moving forward in discourse as Davis's later Women, Race, and Class The content of this book is very specific to the period in which is was written (the 80s) and, although I learned quite a bit, I did not find it to be as generalizable or useful as a tool moving forward in discourse as Davis's later Women, Race, and Class

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vendela

    A reread. The sections on the Reagan administration are particularly relevant today.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Heartbreaking how much HASN'T changed since the 1980s. In this book, the names are from the past (e.g., Reagan), but the situations are the same. Actually, they're worse. Heartbreaking how much HASN'T changed since the 1980s. In this book, the names are from the past (e.g., Reagan), but the situations are the same. Actually, they're worse.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Robin Larson

    30 years later many of the political references are dated - but a surprising (depressing) amount of things have not changed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Could have been written today with little changes but presidents name and update statistics

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lara Kimberly

    Lift as you climb 💜

  27. 4 out of 5

    [ashes]

    A little repetitive, but it does not diminish the message Davis is sending. Also, a little insightful in regards to the effects of Reagan's politics. A little repetitive, but it does not diminish the message Davis is sending. Also, a little insightful in regards to the effects of Reagan's politics.

  28. 5 out of 5

    LaShana D

    A series of essays. It has been some time but I remember feeling good about understanding who Dr. Davis is. I will have to purchase this one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rizowana

    Review will be posted soon.

  30. 5 out of 5

    J.P.

    Published a few years after "Women Race & Class", this is mostly a collection of various speeches & a few essays on the role of women in politics historically & need for women, particularly black women, to participate in politics because their unique position that allows them to shed light on their own oppression as well as the oppression of others. It is heavily influenced by her Socialist leanings & that's a good thing. She does not shy away from critiques on the nature of Capitalism & it's ro Published a few years after "Women Race & Class", this is mostly a collection of various speeches & a few essays on the role of women in politics historically & need for women, particularly black women, to participate in politics because their unique position that allows them to shed light on their own oppression as well as the oppression of others. It is heavily influenced by her Socialist leanings & that's a good thing. She does not shy away from critiques on the nature of Capitalism & it's role in oppression of women all over the world. She stresses the importance of black women's basic needs being met that aren't because of poverty & how that has been a hindrance in outreach & participation. Those that have tried to reach them have been unsuccessful mainly because they do not understand the role class plays in their lives. And black women have been reluctant to participate due to having more pressing concerns, such as daily survival. These needs include fair wages, job security, access to health care & contraception & quality education. One particular standout in the book was her experiences with Egyptian women & how that stressed the importance of the people being oppressed participating in dismantling or reshaping whatever system or culture it is that is oppressing them. Being under a system of oppression tends to give the oppressed unique insights into the problem, how it functions & how to fix it. A one size fits all approach does not work because every country has it's own political & cultural factors that come into play. The lesson is, more often than not, get out of the way, shut up & listen. Another highlight are her speeches on South African Apartheid & Winnie Mandela. One important thing to take away from this book is that although issues like poverty need to be addressed because they address more immediate concerns of the oppressed, larger issues should not be ignored but we simply can't expect people to care when their most immediate needs are not being met. Angela makes it clear that it is important to understand the nature of the U.S., it's role across the globe, the role of race & the nature of Capitalism & how it has been tied to all of these & other issues. It kind of lulls in the middle due to short speeches that have ideas that likely need more fleshing out but were probably short speeches due to time constraints. Overall, it's a great book. A must read!

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