Amazons and Aliens: Feminist Separatism and the Future of Knowledge



The first publication of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland in novel form coincided with an upsurge in similar utopian and self-consciously feminist writing, as more women discovered the potential of for fictionalising a radical critique. Taking their impetus from the demands of the new women’s movement, these fictions are primarily concerned with identity politics and the radicalisation of sexuality, which are in most cases seen as inseparable from environmental and ecological concerns. Destruction of the environment through depletion of resources and the indiscriminate use of machine technology is, in these texts, identified with masculine power, and their most radical proposition is, as Dennis Livingston puts it,

that the best thing men can do at present is to get out of the way, as women on their own have the potential of creating a culture more ecologically sensitive and humanistic than men have been able to offer.2


Lesbian Community Generational Conflict Feminist Separatism Patriarchal Authority Feminist Objectivity 
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© Debra Benita Shaw 2000

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