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They Didn't See Us Coming: The Hidden History of Feminism in the Nineties

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From the declaration of the "Year of the Woman" to the televising of Anita Hill's testimony, from Bitch magazine to SisterSong's demands for reproductive justice: the 90s saw the birth of some of the most lasting aspects of contemporary feminism. Historian Lisa Levenstein tracks this time of intense and international coalition building, one that centered on the growing inf From the declaration of the "Year of the Woman" to the televising of Anita Hill's testimony, from Bitch magazine to SisterSong's demands for reproductive justice: the 90s saw the birth of some of the most lasting aspects of contemporary feminism. Historian Lisa Levenstein tracks this time of intense and international coalition building, one that centered on the growing influence of lesbians, women of color, and activists from the global South. Their work laid the foundation for the feminist energy seen in today's movements, including the 2017 Women's March and #MeToo campaigns. A revisionist history of the origins of contemporary feminism, They Didn't See Us Coming shows how women on the margins built a movement at the dawn of the Digital Age.


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From the declaration of the "Year of the Woman" to the televising of Anita Hill's testimony, from Bitch magazine to SisterSong's demands for reproductive justice: the 90s saw the birth of some of the most lasting aspects of contemporary feminism. Historian Lisa Levenstein tracks this time of intense and international coalition building, one that centered on the growing inf From the declaration of the "Year of the Woman" to the televising of Anita Hill's testimony, from Bitch magazine to SisterSong's demands for reproductive justice: the 90s saw the birth of some of the most lasting aspects of contemporary feminism. Historian Lisa Levenstein tracks this time of intense and international coalition building, one that centered on the growing influence of lesbians, women of color, and activists from the global South. Their work laid the foundation for the feminist energy seen in today's movements, including the 2017 Women's March and #MeToo campaigns. A revisionist history of the origins of contemporary feminism, They Didn't See Us Coming shows how women on the margins built a movement at the dawn of the Digital Age.

52 review for They Didn't See Us Coming: The Hidden History of Feminism in the Nineties

  1. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    Would you really believe my review of a book where I am featured & made to look like a bad ass? HAHA... Honestly, I do believe that this is a great look back at the 1990s and what was happening in feminism outside of mainstream organizations. A peek at what grassroots feminists did to push mainstream feminism and sadly how we are still working on that push. I will be chatting with Lisa on my new podcast, The Feminist Agenda, about the book and what she learned. You can find "The Feminist Agenda" Would you really believe my review of a book where I am featured & made to look like a bad ass? HAHA... Honestly, I do believe that this is a great look back at the 1990s and what was happening in feminism outside of mainstream organizations. A peek at what grassroots feminists did to push mainstream feminism and sadly how we are still working on that push. I will be chatting with Lisa on my new podcast, The Feminist Agenda, about the book and what she learned. You can find "The Feminist Agenda" on Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Anchor - https://anchor.fm/feministacast.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    They Didn't See Us Coming is a fantastic addition to important feminist literature. The academic in me was incredibly impressed with the use of source material and it covered a period of history I know very little about. The book covers key moments and figures in the feminist movement from the 90's right up to the 2017 US Elections. What I enjoyed the most was the inclusion of women from all backgrounds, making it an incredibly relevant and it reiterates the importance of topics like environme They Didn't See Us Coming is a fantastic addition to important feminist literature. The academic in me was incredibly impressed with the use of source material and it covered a period of history I know very little about. The book covers key moments and figures in the feminist movement from the 90's right up to the 2017 US Elections. What I enjoyed the most was the inclusion of women from all backgrounds, making it an incredibly relevant and it reiterates the importance of topics like environmentalism, the economic situation and social trends on feminism. *I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  3. 4 out of 5

    Harshpreet

    This was an interesting read, it handled what could've been a very textbook like topic into a narrative story which was very easy to get into. For someone like me, who knows very little of the American Feminist Movement, I mean I know it happened but I didn't know much of the people involved, how racial prejudices existed at the time, and how things actually happened. They Didn't See Us Coming managed to gave me loads of behind-the-scenes stuff. For the world, feminist activists presented sort o This was an interesting read, it handled what could've been a very textbook like topic into a narrative story which was very easy to get into. For someone like me, who knows very little of the American Feminist Movement, I mean I know it happened but I didn't know much of the people involved, how racial prejudices existed at the time, and how things actually happened. They Didn't See Us Coming managed to gave me loads of behind-the-scenes stuff. For the world, feminist activists presented sort of a united front, but there were issues of which POC women and white women didn't agree on and it was really insightful to read that perspective. Thank you to NetGalley for the giving me an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Bannister

    I Enjoyed everything about this book there was nothing I didn't like about the book. I Like the story that was being told. I Like the setting,the writing style,the plot,the plot twists and the characters in the book were amazing.I would reread this again.I also like the concept of the book.I Would recommend this book to anyone.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kristi Benedict

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Step by step They Didn't See Us Coming details how the feminist movement in the 90's formed the precursor for the movements we are seeing today in 2020--which shows us that Feminism is at the root of every movement. What a powerful realization! Full of dates and names, facts and figures, this book is a must read for anyone wanting to know about the history of the feminist movement in the 90's and how it impacts us still today.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    A solid overview of intersectional feminism in the nineties. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who first learned about intersectionality in the 2010s. (I only give this book three stars because it didn't feel quite as essential to me as other books I've read about feminism. It's well-written and researched, but some of the chapters feel like additional examples of the same thesis rather than new information fleshing out the story.)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bri

    If you enjoy learning about feminism and history, you will love this book. A primer on the feminist rise in the 90s, Lisa Levenstein tackles specific topics and how they relate to feminism, such as the dawn of the online era, economics, the environment, and the conferences and groups of feminists that brought us to where we are today. It was an interesting and in-depth look at some of the most pivotal feminist figures of that decade. However, I frequently found myself struggling to bond with the If you enjoy learning about feminism and history, you will love this book. A primer on the feminist rise in the 90s, Lisa Levenstein tackles specific topics and how they relate to feminism, such as the dawn of the online era, economics, the environment, and the conferences and groups of feminists that brought us to where we are today. It was an interesting and in-depth look at some of the most pivotal feminist figures of that decade. However, I frequently found myself struggling to bond with the material. I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review, and I must say that I still feel this book could use some serious editing. There are several repeats of information due to the structure, and sometimes I felt as if we were going far too deep into the background of particular figures, and not deep enough into the topics she was discussing. This book is clearly a well-researched work, but I would classify it as more educational and professorial than energizing and vividly interesting. Maybe I was deceived by the cover in thinking this would be an invigorating read, but I think this work would be more suited and a fabulous choice for college classes to read on the subject, All in all, this book is chock-full of vital information, I just did not enjoy the way it was presented.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    DNF at 1/3 of the way in (and it took me weeks to get to even that). I am a feminist, I came of age in the 90s, this book should've been right up my alley. But it was just. So. BORING. No real narrative, no real story, just a bunch of bits and pieces strung together without much structure or anything really to pull the reader in. Like listening to an acquaintance tell a rambling story about something that happened at work or something they thought was just *ah-mah-zing* from some other time in t DNF at 1/3 of the way in (and it took me weeks to get to even that). I am a feminist, I came of age in the 90s, this book should've been right up my alley. But it was just. So. BORING. No real narrative, no real story, just a bunch of bits and pieces strung together without much structure or anything really to pull the reader in. Like listening to an acquaintance tell a rambling story about something that happened at work or something they thought was just *ah-mah-zing* from some other time in their life, but which you can't understand because you weren't there and don't know the people or places they're talking about and they leave out any semblance of narrative or description, so it's not so much an actual story or tale but more of a pile of words.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ange

    I really enjoyed this book. I found it interesting and informative. The book would be great for anyone interested in the feminist movement at that time, with resources to continue your education on the topic. Took me back to my college years when emailing and the internet were the new frontier and how they were used in movement. I found the History of how white feminism tried to lead the agenda of the feminist movement in the USA and how black feminists took on that fight and where heard thought I really enjoyed this book. I found it interesting and informative. The book would be great for anyone interested in the feminist movement at that time, with resources to continue your education on the topic. Took me back to my college years when emailing and the internet were the new frontier and how they were used in movement. I found the History of how white feminism tried to lead the agenda of the feminist movement in the USA and how black feminists took on that fight and where heard thought provoking. Then bringing us right into the feminists movement of today and how it links with 90s feminism. I recommend this book if you have a interest in feminism, history and society.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    Having graduated in 1996, I never viewed the 90's as being influential in any way. It seemed like nothing really important happened that had an influence on changing society. After reading this, I admit that I was so wrong. The 90's were full of moments that laid the groundwork for the women's movement we are experiencing now. The author did a great job of weaving the 90's with today's movement. I highly recommend this!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    They Didn't See Us Coming was an awesome feminist text that highlighted the various feminist movements that appeared at the dawn of the digital age in the 1990s. Written by Lisa Levenstein, this book was a short manifesto of some of the many achievements and issues within the feminist movement as a whole, and how they began to create the feminism that we have today. I found a lot of the book to be quite interesting and full of some awesome facts, supported by a lengthy, trustworthy bibliography. They Didn't See Us Coming was an awesome feminist text that highlighted the various feminist movements that appeared at the dawn of the digital age in the 1990s. Written by Lisa Levenstein, this book was a short manifesto of some of the many achievements and issues within the feminist movement as a whole, and how they began to create the feminism that we have today. I found a lot of the book to be quite interesting and full of some awesome facts, supported by a lengthy, trustworthy bibliography. However, I struggled a lot with the style of writing. There was nothing particularly wrong with it — it wasn't too dense or too vague, but I believed it lacked a lot of the depth that I would have liked to have seen. I feel as though this could have been an astounding read if it went deeper into the topics it discussed, and analysed them further. Instead, this was more of a recount, which went against what I had expected for the book. I also wish that it had been longer to allow for this more in-depth analysis and discussion of the movement — especially about the issues related to the lack of intersectionality and racism within the movement. Overall, I would recommend this book, but do keep those things in mind when reading.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Monika

    A wonderful feminist read. A little sad to see that we’ve been fighting for more than a decade for our rights! The feelings and the life of the movement that started it all has been captured well by the author. The Lisa’s words give more than hope and is confident! Thank you NetGalley, author and publisher for this ARC. This review is my own and is not influenced in any way!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Abdulzakeh

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

  15. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

  16. 5 out of 5

    J Haydel

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shaher Mossad

  18. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mohammed Hama Lio

  20. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rahman Zaidi

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Marino

  24. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lucianna Wolfstone

  26. 5 out of 5

    Natreadstuff

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ange

  28. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sinead

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sneha

  31. 4 out of 5

    Maya {Hurt me with the truth, but never comfort me with a lie}

  32. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

  33. 4 out of 5

    Riana

  34. 5 out of 5

    Shantel

  35. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Cerda

  36. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  37. 4 out of 5

    Omar Leon

  38. 4 out of 5

    Lori Bennett

  39. 4 out of 5

    Christine Eckstein

  40. 5 out of 5

    LL

  41. 5 out of 5

    Mary Simmons

  42. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  43. 4 out of 5

    Adorkable Author

  44. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  45. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Walas

  46. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  47. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Adams

  48. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

  49. 4 out of 5

    Kim Ellis

  50. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Gerhart

  51. 5 out of 5

    Brie

  52. 5 out of 5

    amy

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