Remembering a Feminist Pioneer by @taylorleewrites

Kate Millett’s best-selling book “Sexual Politics” published in 1970, was a landmark of cultural criticism and a manifesto for the modern feminist movement. Millett died early this month. She was 82.

If your introduction to the second wave of feminism was in the ‘70’s, as mine was, “Sexual Politics” changed your life. I can still remember my fevered excitement reading Millett’s indictment of the paternalistic society that relegated women to second class citizenship, particularly in the realm of sexuality.

Those were heady days for those of us who were teenagers in the fifties and early sixties and had been taught to view our sexuality through a distinctly male prism. Instead all the old shibboleths about women’s sexuality were smashed to smithereens by feminist pioneers like Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Germaine Greer and of course, Kate Millett.

We newly-minted feminist women got to see ourselves, particularly our bodies, in entirely new ways. And we got to think about sex in ways that we never had. Not only did we get to decide whether or not we would get pregnant—thank you, birth control—but that we could and should take control of our sexuality. And we got to decide how and what sexual practices would bring us pleasure as women and as lovers
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For me, as the mother of three daughters, books like Sexual Politics were life-changing. My great hope, that has been realized, was that my daughters would grow up believing in their right—frankly their obligation—to claim the kind of sexuality that honors them as women and pioneers.

Today I would challenge Millett’s most sweeping theories. I’m not as consumed by ideology as I was in my radical 20’s. On the other hand, I’m confident that I wouldn’t write the kind of books that I write, HOT Romantic Suspense, if I had not come through the crucible of the 70’s.
So thank you, Kate Millett, for waking up a generation of women to their rights as women in a central aspect of their lives—their sexuality.

One quote that for many years was on my wall speaks to Millett’s passion and hope for the future. A future that unfortunately has not been realized.

“It may be that a second wave of the sexual revolution might at last accomplish its aim of freeing half the race from its immemorial subordination — and in the process bring us all a great deal closer to humanity,”

Well said, Kate.

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About Taylor Lee

USA Today Best Selling author Taylor Lee writes Suspenseful Mystery Thrillers – with a heavy dose of Sexy to Sizzling HOT Romance. In the five years that she has been writing, Taylor has written more than forty books. Her eight, series track her Special Operatives, Covert Agents, Cops, Firefighters and other iconic heroes and heroines, through the harrowing situations that make up their lives. From human trafficking rings to corrupt politicians, Taylor investigates the underbelly of society and the criminals who flourish there. Taylor says: “From the residue in my personal blender of mixed races, cultures and world views, my characters emerge. It comforts me to know that while evil slinks in the shadows, the “good guys and gals” of the world sniff it out – and snuff it out. My characters are arrogant alpha males and the feisty women who bring them to their knees – and vice versa… They fight hard, love hard and don’t mince words. They are dangerous men and women in dangerous times. Love, passion and ridding the world of evil? What’s not to like?

3 Replies to “Remembering a Feminist Pioneer by @taylorleewrites”

  1. I’m a bit younger, but I remember the discussion in the mid-70’s about whether I would receive the same wages as ‘the guys’ because I was female. Then, to add insult, I had to get special dispensation to wear pants! I worked with customers and often had to go retrieve items from the warehouse. Climbing a ladder in a miniskirt was out of the question, I argued. I won on both counts, paving the way for other women to wear ‘sensible’ clothes and get equal pay for equal work. One small business (600 employees) at a time was better than staying a clerk. Oh, and tough women are attractive, or so says my husband.

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