Ann Snitow, Feminist Teacher and Activist, Dies at 76 Neither a polemicist nor an ideologue, she thrived on complexities generated by doubt and uncertainty. Ann Snitow in Over nearly half a century, she mobilized feminists and chronicled their ebbs and flows in six books and scores of articles. Steve Ladner By Katharine Q. Seelye Aug. She was
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Ann Snitow, Feminist Teacher and Activist, Dies at 76 Neither a polemicist nor an ideologue, she thrived on complexities generated by doubt and uncertainty. Ann Snitow in Over nearly half a century, she mobilized feminists and chronicled their ebbs and flows in six books and scores of articles. Steve Ladner By Katharine Q. Seelye Aug.
She was The cause was bladder cancer, her brother, Alan Snitow, said. Over nearly half a century, Ms. Snitow mobilized feminists, often at her kitchen table in Soho, and chronicled their ebbs and flows in six books and scores of articles in publications including The Village Voice, The Nation and Dissent.
In the s she established gender studies at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, where she also taught literature. In the s, she became a kind of ambassador of feminism to Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism.
Trying to police pornography, she argued, would only drive it underground and would distract feminists from their ultimate goal of liberation.
Taking sides in that debate was almost unavoidable. But generally, Ms. Snitow was known for being analytical, not polemical, for raising questions, not supplying answers, and above all, for embracing ambiguity and uncertainty.
Uncertainty — her watch word for knowing that feminism was always evolving, but not knowing what it might become — might even be said to have been her signature trait. Uncertainty: What an odd banner to fly under — but there it is.
Duke University Press She was especially intrigued to see what feminism might look like in the former Soviet bloc after the fall of the Berlin Wall in Detwiler said. She always ended up where she began, with uncertainty, as she did in a speech to feminists in Warsaw about how to survive the backlash. Feminism is inevitably uncertain and unresolvable. Her father was a lawyer and also produced trade shows. When Ann was a toddler, the family moved to Scarsdale, N. But by , she was eager to join in the political upheaval in the United States and so broke off her studies and went back to New York.
She would not earn her Ph. In , while she was working at the radio station, a listener named Daniel Goode, who was captivated by her, wrote her a letter. She never answered, so he called in to the show. They met for lunch, and the next year moved in together. They were married 26 years later, in Goode, a composer and clarinetist, said they finally got married to ensure full property rights for the remaining spouse when the other was gone.
Goode survives Ms. Snitow, as does her brother and her niece, Tania Chelnov-Snitow. When she left London, Ms. Its leaders left within a year because of internal disputes, and the organizational structure was dismantled. Snitow joined another consciousness-raising group that met regularly for the next 15 years. To her young self, feminism was about personal freedom and pleasure.
The Feminism of Uncertainty: A Gender Diary, by Ann Snitow
It seems that an ideology would necessarily have to commit itself to certainty, to clear principles and goals, a coherent credo, if just for the sake of common ground among its followers. All that, despite social and historical changes, the flux of thinkers and leaders and followers, new and competing voices and discourses Okay, so maybe uncertainty is the right word. It is possibly the only sane position, particularly for someone, like Ann Snitow, who has worked within this ideology for decades. As she writes in the introduction, this book offers "a variety of descriptions of how one person has tried to locate feminism in her life -- in situations that keep changing.
Feminism of Uncertainty is impressive in its scholarly research. The value of feminist research in this book is intensified through its praxis-driven framework. Photos of the author at various sites of grassroots feminist work testify to this methodology of feminist praxis, and appeal to the visual imagination of the feminist reader who yearns to learn on the ground in the classrooms of the world. Feminism of Uncertainty is a philosophy of gender learned through decades of experimentation with gender politics in the laboratory of life, forever demanding creativity to rethink the feminist present and re-imagine feminist futures. The paradigm of feminist uncertainty never allows the nostalgia of past feminist work to solidify feminism into an airtight epistemological compartment. A joyful celebration of the past with feminist comrades, the book looks forward to the futuristic possibilities for feminism as it learns from others.