How ‘Woman King’s’ story of fierce fighting women began with a tender, motherly moment
In her first book, “Woman King,” Shulamith Firestone begins a story of an ordinary young Israeli who goes to war against the powerful but corrupt Israeli Defense Force.
Get In-Depth looks back at the remarkable life of the pioneer feminist, who became one of the first to question the status quo and bring up the status of women in this country.
By Shulamith Firestone
I grew up in an observant Jewish household. My father was a religious man. I liked to watch television. Most days, I wore white because Jewish girls were supposed to obey their parents, but I wasn’t religious. I was a young Jewish woman who did not want to be bound by any traditions.
I wanted to become a doctor like my mother, but I fell in love with writing. In my late teens, my parents bought me a typewriter and I began to publish articles in a weekly women’s magazine called HaOlam HaChaver.
HaOlam HaChaver was part of the cultural movement that challenged the social and political status quo of our society. Women wrote editorials calling for equal rights for all women. My mother was a strong woman and in the struggle with the patriarchy, she became the first to be arrested and beaten. She was beaten in front of friends who would have supported her. My father then went into hiding.
That’s how “Woman King” was born: a story of a young girl who goes into battle against the military in the name of justice.
My mother, Shulamith Firestone, is a legend: a woman who fought against a patriarchal world. She was imprisoned in a concentration camp, sent to labor camps, tortured and interrogated by the Israeli military. During the eight days I was growing up in the 1960s, the women’s movement was in full swing, women were protesting, organizing, talking, writing and marching.
In 1967, a group of young women who were against the war with Egypt arrived at my house