An Unconventional Family by Professor Sandra Lipsitz Bem

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



In 1965, when psychologists Sandra and Daryl Bem met and married, they were determined to function as truly egalitarian partners and also to raise their children in accordance with gender-liberated, anti-homophobic, and sex-positive feminist ideals. During the next ten years, they exuberantly shared the details of their daily lives in both public lectures and the mass media in order to provide at least one concrete example of an alternative to the traditional heterosexual family. In the 1990s, Sandra Bern also published an award-winning book, The Lenses of Gender, which spelled out the feminist theory behind their feminist practices.This second book by Sandra Bern, an autobiographical account of the Bems' nearly thirty-year marriage, is both a personal history, of the Bems' past and a social history of a key period in feminism's past. It is also a look into feminism's future, because the Bems' children, Emily and Jeremy, now in their early twenties, speak at length in the book as well.Bem analyzes what aspects of family background and psychological makeup led her and Daryl to bond so immediately and to become gender pioneers. She describes the egalitarianism and feminist child-rearing that they invented for their private needs and tells how these family agendas were transformed into public feminist discourse. Finally she reassesses this early feminist union now that the marriage has come to an end and the children are young adults, evaluating (with the help of lengthy interviews with Emily and Jeremy and a brief epilogue by Daryl) what the Bems' experiences -- both positive and negative -- have to say about the viability and necessity of nontraditional gender arrangements insociety today.

About Professor Sandra Lipsitz Bem

See more books from this Author
Sandra Lipsitz Bem is professor of psychology, women's studies, and lesbian, bisexual, and gay studies at Cornell University.
Published October 11, 1998 by Yale University Press. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for An Unconventional Family

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

An unsatisfying look back at the (now-defunct) marriage of an academic husband and wife who pioneered gender equality and encouraged their children to be sexually liberated—that is, comfortable with their sexuality, whatever form it might take.

| Read Full Review of An Unconventional Family

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

This is, in her words, ""an autobiographical account of an attempt by a woman and a man to function as truly egalitarian partners and parents and also to raise children in accordance with gender-liberated, antihomophobic, and sex-positive feminist ideals."" Luckily, both the author and her (now e...

| Read Full Review of An Unconventional Family

Reader Rating for An Unconventional Family

An aggregated and normalized score based on 5 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review