Farewell to feminist icon

Marilyn French, one of the most renowned feminist writers, has passed away in New York after suffering a heart failure.

She was 79. The author breathed her last on May 2 in a Manhattan hospital, said Carol Jenkins, her friend and president of the city’s Women’s Media Center.

French’s 1977 novel The Women’s Room won her much acclaim for her treatment of female subjugation in a male-dominated world, reports the BBC.

The novel, considered to be one of the most influential novels of the modern feminist movement, has sold 20 million copies and become an international best seller. It tells the story of Mira Ward, a conventional and submissive young woman in a traditional marriage and her gradual feminist awakening.

The novel was voted one of the five books that have most changed the way women see themselves in a 2004 poll of listeners to BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

French was tagged as anti-male when a character in the book at one point says:

"All men are rapists, and that’s all they are. They rape us with their eyes, their laws, and their codes." But Jenkins trashed the claims, insisting it to be a misinterpretation. She said: "Those words came from a character, and she was not a man-hater, and never said that in her personal life. But she wanted men to accept their part in the domination of women". — ANI