New Review: The Future of Feminism

Sylvia Walby’s book provides a comprehensive rebuttal of the notion that feminism is dead. Rachel Benson reviews this definitive account of feminism’s present and future forms, and the progression of feminism into the mainstream

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Typing “Daily Mail” and “feminism” into the internet probably isn’t a wise move. Within seconds a selection of stories appear with headlines declaring feminism “irrelevant”, “passé” and “dead” (not to mention being responsible for widening the poverty gap, making men second-class citizens and killing the art of home cooking).

In Reclaiming the F Word Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune describe how “feminism is pronounced dead on a regular basis”. It is an argument that many feminists must be familiar with; therefore the opening lines of The Future of Feminism, the latest book from academic Sylvia Walby, are refreshingly defiant. They set out a clear agenda. Feminism remains active, relevant and powerful in the 21st century: “Feminism is not dead. This is not a postfeminist era. Feminism is still vibrant, despite declarations that it is over. Feminism is a success, although many gender inequalities remain. Feminism is taking powerful new forms, which make it unrecognisable to some.”

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