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Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  383 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Politics of Reality includes essays that examine sexism, the exploitation of women, the gay rights movement and other topics from a feminist perspective.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 1st 1983 by Crossing Press (first published 1983)
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This book is a must-read for anyone invested in feminism. It's the sort of book that you can read more than once, and learn something new or gain a different insight the second/third/fourth time around. The book is *so* structured, and her arguments are so succinct and well-formulated, so it's not a matter of the content being poorly explained; the content is just very, very deep. The imagery Frye uses, especially, is really profound and elegant: the bird in a wire cage as an analogy for oppress ...more
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the essay on oppression, which set the stage for what I was hoping to be an excellent collection of feminist essays. I found the subsequent essays to be dreadfully academic, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just not my idea of pleasure reading. But whatever, I skimmed through the parts I found to be less interesting and the essays were okay.

Then I got to the essay "Lesbian Feminism and the Gay Rights Movement" which is basically a giant rant about how gay men are the torchbear
“Oppression” is a very clear essay, and a good what is and what isn’t oppression 101.

“Some reflections on separatism and power” is amazing and necessary. Down with male parasitism!

“A note on anger” has a good insight: “Anger. Domain. Respect.”

Wasn’t sold on the rest. Some of her reflections on race are bizarre - “natives of India and Pakistan are generally counted as white in [america]”??? Also the navel gazing - “does being white make it impossible for me to be a good person?” Pass. The chapte
Mar 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
the kind of non-nonsense practical feminism that ceased to exist after the early 1980s. this book tells you what rooms of the house you an argue in if you are a woman, really. it makes wild claims about abortion politics, then argues until you wonder. it explained things about anger to me that I hadn't though of before. it's a good read.
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a seminal work in feminist philosophy. Prepare to read each one through several times in order to get a firm understanding of what's going on.
Jessica Ippolito
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Impactful. Author successfully articulated many of societies social injustices that usually are overlooked and have been ingrained for centuries.
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Her essay on epistemology (about the loving eye vs. the arrogant eye) is good.
Sep 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a very useful book for getting a grip on foundational feminist concepts, especially oppression. I teach something from this book pretty much every year.
Genae Matthews
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A philosopher who I look up to gifted me this book and said that it was so good that she has referenced when writing nearly all of her work. :') The book stood up to even these very high expectations!
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
While Frye's theories are thought-provoking and backed with solid evidence, her wording can get muddy in the thick philosophical habit which makes this tiny book a dense read.
Erika Levy
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Feminist theory described with utmost clarity. Must read for all.
May 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
As a radical feminist, I bought this book in the hope that I would gain more insight into radfem theory. But holy crap, am I ever disappointed.

Her first essay (on oppression) was pretty good; but the rest of the book read like an exercise in making interesting things boring. She couldn't be more dry if she tried. Her essay on separatism wasn't the slightest bit convincing, either. The gist of her argument was that separatism makes men nervous and makes it impossible for them to pursue hierarchic
Mar 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: those attending michigan womyn's festival
marilyn frye is a hack. same tired sex-is-bad, men-are-haters, middle-class-white-feminism. yak. is this a poem? but i guess it was 1983 so she gets a pass. b- to frye for at least giving a significant amount of lip service to working class and poor women of color (but not giving them agency and instead prescribing a feminism for them) and helping tow the political lesbian feminist party line. it's cool, just cause i don't agree i guess i can't tell her to suck it. but her methodology is still f ...more
Sep 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: feminism
Very aware/inclusive of racism, not so much of trans issues. The first chapters were very strong, but then it kind of wavered and died a very sad Freudian, transphobic death.
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Doesn't really do anything to dismantle the man/woman binary, doesn't acknowledge trans people.
Sep 21, 2012 added it
Always a good read. I keep returning to this book for inspiration and creative ways of seeing the world.
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Marilyn Frye is an American philosopher and radical lesbian feminist theorist.

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