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Posted in: Feminism, Global Culture

Published on Jan 08, 2021 by Phyllis Chesler

Published by Phyllis Chesler

Kim Chernin, R.I.P.


The feminists are going, shuffling right off that mortal coil and so many are already gone. The girls of summer, whose vivacity and boldness I will never forget have done their work and are now all away somewhere else.

Kim Chernin has just died of COVID. She was eighty years old—my age. I knew her. I visited her in Berkeley, once a leafy, lovely state of mind. I reviewed—and praised her work. Here’s what I had to say about her pioneering work The Obsession: Reflections on the Tyranny of Slenderness; I reviewed it in the New York Times in 1985. Since then, there has been much work about women and eating disorders from Susie Orbach (Fat is a Feminist Issue) to Anat Gur (Foreign Bodies: Eating Disorders, Childhood Sexual Abuse, and Trauma-Informed Treatment).

I used to keep a list of our feminist dead, all women whom I personally knew and whose work I treasured, but I stopped when I passed 125. I could not bear to keep track of the passing of so many soldiers, visionaries, truth-tellers, and some truly dangerous dames. R.I.P Kim. Know that your work on earth mattered.


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