No turning back: The history of feminism and the future of women

fellow human beings and how do we accommodate both their individuality and our own responses to it? This long-overdue début from a born writer is a remarkably honest and disturbing book, which self-assuredly combines raw earthiness with dreamlike poetry.

This is a very thorough account of women’s struggles. Starting with women’s position in society in prehistoric times it moves through the centuries and across the globe, from slavery in Africa to class in medieval Europe, from the Civil Rights movement in the US to reproductive health in Latin America.

The arguments rehearsed on, say, ‘biology is destiny’, are well known. One could even say a little ‘old hat’. But the book does give a real sense of how the political goals of feminism have survived. Freedman bills *No Turning Back* as something she decided to write because ‘no single book existed’ that ‘brought together the interdisciplinary literature that the past generation of feminist scholars has produced’. But a bit more about the future to add to such vast tracts on the past would have been welcome.

New Internationalist issue 351 magazine cover This article is from the November 2002 issue of New Internationalist.
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