Notes from Making Trouble: Life and Politics by Lynne Segal

I finished reading this book Making Trouble: Life and Politics by Lynne Segal. I’m not completely enthralled by it, but I found some useful information so I decided to blog about it before I sell this book so it doesn’t become clutter in my room.

Topics to research about:

  • socialist feminism
  • biomythography

The movement:

  • “We never simply win, but then again, we never simply lose either.”


  • Capitalism is using feminism and the LGBT movement to sell their products
  • “…corporations such as Facebook can use feminism to give them cultural and political clout…while persuading women to exploit themselves by working harder and remaining underpaid, all in the name of freedom”
  • “…capitalism has donned a feminist-friendly face” ex: marketing cigarettes as “torches of freedom”, and selling “labor-saving” appliances
  • Socialist feminism


  • “…attempting to stay in touch with the politics of the present can often make life meaningful, sometimes even enthralling, whatever our age–especially when we are able to bridge generational divides.” (p.xxxv)
  • “In my latest writing on radical happiness, I have again been exploring how we sometimes renew our attachments to life by embracing the sorrows as well as the joys that are far larger than our own…open our to others rather than enclose us in our own self-interest.” (p.xxxv)
  • On being unexpectedly single: “To be unwanted is to be free.”–Germaine Greer (p.202)

Memoir/ personal essays:

  • There was a great interest in personal stories, a recognition that these stories had social value, memory work was important, trauma was talked about publicly, students needed therapists when talking about these stories (p.8-9)

Books to read:

  • The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer
  • A Piece of the Night by Michele Roberts
  • Daughters of the House by Michele Roberts
  • Daughters of Jerusalem by Sara Maitland
  • Tells I Tell My Mother (fifteen short stories)
  • The Three Marias (banned book, and authors arrested for public indecency)
  • Kinflicks by Lisa Alther
  • The Women’s Room by Marilyn French
  • The Shame is Over by Anya Meulenbelt
  • Ruby Fruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
  • Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
  • Down Among the Women by Fey Weldon
  • The Black Woman by Toni Cade Bambara
  • Black-Eyed Susans by Mary Washington
  • The Buest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon by Paule Marshall
  • Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide by Ntozake Shange
  • Finding a Voice by Amrit Wilson
  • Feminist Fables by Suniti Namjoshi (retold myths and legends from feminist-lesbian viewpoint)
  • Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lorde (biomythography)
  • The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing (became the “bible of the feminist movement”)
  • The Prime of Life by Simone de Beauvoir
  • Old Age by Simone de Beauvoir

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