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Of Woman Born

· The essay ·

In 1976, when the new phase of female politicization was centred on rebellion against the maternal role and women were demanding professional affirmation and sexual freedom, an American poet, Adrienne Rich, wrote Of Woman Born, centred on the value of motherhood. The book, seemingly against the tide, met with instant success and very soon became a “classic” of feminism. To make the ideal and poetic force of this work understood, it suffices to cite its overwhelming opening words: “all human life on our planet is born of woman. The only unifying experience, incontrovertible, shared by all, men and women alike, is the period of months we spend during our formation in a woman’s womb [… ]. Throughout life and even in death we keep the imprint of this experience”. Rich continues, confronting this fundamental experience with the lack of studies and reflection on the topic, a gap which she herself proposes successfully to fulfil. (@LuceScaraffia)

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