Susan Brownmiller


Biography of Susan Brownmiller

Susan Brownmiller (born 15 February 1935) is a US feminist, journalist, author, and activist best known for her 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape. Brownmiller argues that rape had been hitherto defined by men rather than women, and that men use, and all men benefit from the use of, rape as a means of perpetuating male dominance by keeping all women in a state of fear. The book received criticism from Angela Davis, who thought Brownmiller disregarded the part that black women played in the anti-lynching movement and that Brownmiller's discussion of rape and race became an "unthinking partnership which borders on racism". In 1995, the New York Public Library selected Against Our Will as one of 100 most important books of the Twentieth Century.

Brownmiller also participated in civil rights activism, joining CORE and SNCC during the sit-in movement and volunteering for Freedom Summer in 1964, wherein she worked on voter registration in Meridian, Mississippi. Returning to New York, she began writing for The Village Voice and became a network TV newswriter at the American Broadcasting Company, a job she held until 1968. She first became involved in the Women's Liberation Movement in New York City in 1968, by joining a consciousness-raising group in the newly formed New York Radical Women organization. Brownmiller went on to coordinate a sit-in against Ladies' Home Journal in 1970, began work on Against Our Will after a New York Radical Feminists speak-out on rape in 1971, and co-founded Women Against Pornography in 1979. She continues to write and speak on feminist issues, including a recent memoir and history of Second Wave radical feminism. In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution (1999).

Brownmiller won an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship in 1973 to research and write about the crime of rape.

[Report Error]