The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution revisited

Club des Femmes & Verso present:



Doors 7pm £5 advance (click here) £6.50 on the door

The Dialectic of Sex: ‘a must-have for those interested in feminist theory, both past and present. Its reappearance now, during yet another period of ‘ridicule’ towards women’s rights, is perhaps even more pertinent than its first publication.’

– Kathleen Hanna, riot grrrl

1970: Shulamith Firestone was just 25 years old when she published The Dialectic of Sex. It was the first book of the women’s liberation movement to propose a feminist theory of politics. It offered second-wave feminists the impetus to act. It became an international bestseller.

2015: 45 years later, as Naomi Wolf suggests ‘no one can understand how feminism has evolved without reading this radical, inflammatory second-wave landmark’.

Now is the time to revisit Firestone’s seminal ideas. Join in the revolution at an evening of screenings, readings, art activism and conversation to celebrate Verso’s publication of the new edition of Shulamith Firestone’s groundbreaking manifesto.

To start the conversation, we welcome Juliet Jacques (journalist and author of the forthcoming Trans, Verso September 2015), Mandy Merck (Professor of Media Arts, Royal Holloway, University of London) & Helen de Witt (BFI, Head of Cinemas) to discuss the significance and cultural legacy of Firestone’s work.

Film Programme 

Year of the Woman

A fantasy by Sandra Hochman, 1973, USA, 82 mins

With Sandra Hochman, Warren Beatty, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Norman Mailer

The film they couldn’t kill about the revolution they couldn’t stop.

Year of the Woman is the first feature-length film in the USA that was exclusively produced by women. A piece of history in itself, it documents for the first time how women at the 1972 Democratic Party Convention in Miami conquered the political world previously dominated by men.

‘The best documentary ever made’ - Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

‘It has to be the best documentary on the woman’s movement because it is the only documentary on the woman’s movement’ – Flo Kennedy


Directed by Elisabeth Subrin with Kim Soss, 1997, USA, 36 mins

“A cinematic doppelganger without precedent, Elisabeth Subrin's Shulie uncannily and systematically bends time and cinematic code alike, projecting the viewer 30 years into the past to rediscover a woman out of time and time out of joint and, in Subrin's words, ‘to investigate the mythos and residue of the late 1960s’.

Staging an extended act of homage as well as a playful, provocative confounding of filmic propriety, Subrin and her creative collaborator Kim Soss resurrect a little-known 1967 documentary portrait of Firestone, then a young Chicago art student, who a few years later would become a notable figure in Second Wave feminism and the author of the radical 1970 manifesto, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution.

Reflecting on her life and times, Shulie functions as a prism for refracting questions of gender, race and class that resonate in our era as in her’s, while through painstaking mediation, Subrin makes manifest the eternal return of film.”

- Mark MacElhatten and Gavin Smith, Curators, Views from the Avant Garde (New York Film Festival, 1997)

Queen Mary University London will be hosting an in-depth exploration of The Dialectic of Sex on Sat 16th May, free and open to all. For more information, contact Sophie on

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