vol 10 - 1984

This issue of Feminist Studies opens with the theme of ambivalence and ambiguity, a posture toward the historical predicament of womankind favored by Mary Beard. As Bonnie Smith tells it, this celebrated, but misinterpreted, foremother of women historians rejected the compulsion to reduce history to the narration of raw facts and unitary interpretations-even feminist interpretations. Beard chose instead to invite a multiplicity of American women to speak their own history in their own, unique voices.

You will hear the voices of many women in this issue of Feminist Studies. They include black tobacco workers as well as white housewives in the United States, and range as far away as Zimbabwe and as distant in time as the fourteenth century. Contrary to Beard's preferences, however, few of these women speak in uncensored idiom. We hear them translated by feminist scholars who, despite Beard's invocation many years ago of modernist nonlinear history, still strive to construct a systematic body of knowledge out of the diversity of female, and male, experience. For example, almost every article in this issue persists in judging its subjects by some standard of feminism. Most authors presume, as well, that groups of women can be placed in social categories and related systematically to other social phenomena. Beverly Jones, for example, does not shy away from generalizing about race and gender when discussing black tobacco workers in the American South, and Gay Seidman formulates propositions about the relationship between socialist revolution and gender constructions in her analysis of contemporary Zimbabwe.



Bonnie G. Smith
Seeing Mary Beard

Marilyn Hacker

Gay W. Seidman
Women in Zimbabwe: Postindependence Struggles

Beverly W. Jones
Race, Sex, and Class: Black Female Tobacco Workers
in Durham, North Carolina, 1920-1940, and the Development
of Female Consciousness

Ruth Stone

Sandra L. Hindman
With Ink and Mortar: Christine de Pizan's
Cite des dames (an Art Essay)

Alicia Ostriker
"What are Patterns for?" Anger and Polarization
in Women's Poetry

Mary Ryan
Proto-feminism or Victims of Patriarchy:
Two Interpretations of Mormon Polygamy
(an introduction)

Joan Iversen
Feminist Implications of Mormon Polygyny

Julie Dunfey
"Living the Principle" of Plural Marriage:
Mormon Women, Utopia, and Female Sexuality
in the Nineteenth Century

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