With Sisterhood, Interrupted Deborah Siegel brings the reader through all three waves of the feminist movement, highlighting which issues were most focused on and what was important in each one. Her focus is on the conflicts that sprung up throughout the movement, and how infighting has affected the movement. She traces back to the early feminists to illustrate how today’s conflicts are not so different from the ones the very first feminists dealt with. Last, she explains how contemporary feminists can and should learn from those who came before them, and helps young women come to a more clear understanding of what feminism means to them as individuals.
I found Sisterhood, Interrupted to be a pretty concise and easy to follow history of the feminist movement. While the focus was on infighting, Siegel really gave a nice background on the major players in the movement and what their stances are/were on some of the most important issues to the movement. I think Siegel was trying to give someone like me, a young feminist not super involved in the movement, a good idea of my predecessors and some knowledge on the movement in general – and she definitely did that.
I appreciated that the focus of the book was on conflicts within the movement because that’s an aspect of feminism that I don’t know too much about. What was great about Siegel’s approach to this was that she gave a very clear picture of some of these problems while not blaming any one person or group and not taking sides. It was really a historian’s approach to writing about this subject. It helped me to get a firmer grasp on my own thoughts and feelings on some of these wedges within the movement, to figure out my place in everything. And although I’m not involved in the feminist movement, per se, I do consider myself a feminist so it is definitely important for me to understand my core beliefs about the major issues within the feminist movement.
Sisterhood, Interrupted is a solid look at the history of feminism in the United States and a thoughtful examination of the issues within the movement. I would say this book is a must-read for any young feminist.