Why We Should Care: Ottawa-born feminist Shulamith Firestone was a central figure in the American women’s liberation movement of the late 1960s, co-founding the New York Radical Women, Redstockings, and New York Radical Feminists groups. She brought awareness to the widespread repression, abuse and exploitation of women through the organizations’ many ventures, including the infamous NYRW 1968 Miss America protest where participants crowned a sheep the winner and chanted slogans like “Atlantic City, a town with class – they raise your morals while they judge your ass!” At 25, she wrote the influential feminist work The Dialectic of Sex: The Case For Feminist Revolution, which challenged misconceptions about female sexuality established by Freud and applied Marxist ideals to a feminist agenda.
Family Ties: Shulamith’s sister, Rabbi Tirzah Firestone, is also recognized as a prominent feminist figure for her work re-integrating traditional feminine wisdom into modern Judaism.
Three Traits We Admire:Her commitment to promoting independence and self-respect in women, her confidence in ordinary people to change the world, and her determination to make a difference despite discouragement from opposition.
For Her Biopic We’d Cast: Emmanuelle Chriqui. They’re both Canadian long-haired brunettes raised in Orthodox Jewish homes – all Chriqui would need is a pair of Firestone’s iconic coke-bottle frames and a megaphone.
In Her Own Words: “Power, however it has evolved, whatever its origins, will not be given up without a struggle.”