The controversial and brilliant thinker predicted a future in which reproduction would be divorced from sex, with fetuses grown outside the body via technology, which she felt could end the oppression of women. The Villager says:
Shulamith Firestone, who shot to fame at age 25 with her best-selling book, “The Dialectic of Sex,” was found dead in her East Village apartment on Tuesday. She was 67. Suffering from mental illness, she had shut herself off from contact with other people…the cause of death is unclear at this point.
“The Dialectic of Sex” was a key feminist work that presaged today’s issues surrounding birth and science. “No one can understand how feminism has evolved without reading this radical, inflammatory, second-wave landmark,” said Naomi Wolf.
According to Amazon.com, “The book synthesizes the work of Freud, Marx, de Beauvoir and Engels to create a cogent argument for feminist revolution. Identifying women as a caste, she declares that they must seize the means of reproduction — for as long as women (and only women) are required to bear and rear children, they will be singled out as inferior.”
According to Wikipedia, “She advocated the use of cybernetics to carry out human reproduction in laboratories as well as the proliferation of contraception, abortion and state support for child-rearing; enabling [women] to escape their biologically determined positions in society. Firestone described pregnancy as ‘barbaric’… . Among the reproductive technologies she predicted were sex selection and in vitro fertilization.”