by Lynne Segal
Have you ever relied on the kindness of strangers? What brings people together to find hope and solidarity? What do we owe each other as citizens and comrades?
Questions of care, intimacy, education, meaningful work, and social engagement lie at the core of our ability to understand the world and its possibilities for human flourishing. In Lean On Me feminist thinker Lynne Segal goes in search of hope in her own life and in the world around her. She finds it entwined in our intimate commitments to each other and our shared collective endeavours.
Segal calls this shared dependence 'radical care'. In recounting from her own life the moments of motherhood, and of being on the front line of second-wave feminism, she draws upon lessons from more than half a century of engagement in left feminist politics, with its underlying commitment to building a more egalitarian and nurturing world. The personal and the political combine in this rallying cry to transform radically how we approach education, motherhood, and our everyday vulnerabilities of disability, ageing, and enhanced needs.
Only by confronting head-on these different forms of interdependence and care can we change the way we think about the environment and learn to struggle -- together --against impending climate catastrophe.
"Lean on Me contains crucial lessons, from one of the most important figures of the British Women's Liberation Movement, for our contemporary politics. Our dependence on the care of others, Lynne Segal reminds us, is not just an inescapable requirement of human life, but moreover the ultimate source of its meaning." -- Amia Srinivasan, author of The Right to Sex
"A first-hand account of a life spent invoking the power of the collective." -- Rachel Andrews, Irish Times
"Drawing on a long and rich life of activism and intellectual work, Segal now turns her forensic gaze to one of the most pressing themes of our age: how we care for each other. Examining her subject through the prism of modern capitalism, our ravaged planet and the rise of populism, Segal is clear that radical solutions are urgently needed. Only these will allow us to reaffirm our human interdependence and provide recognition, care and support, particularly to those most in need." -- Melissa Benn, author of Life Lessons
About the Author:
Lynne Segal was the Anniversary Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College. Her books include Is the Straight Sex: Rethinking the Politics of Pleasure, the highly acclaimed Out of Time and Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy. She co-wrote Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism with Sheila Rowbotham and Hilary Wainwright. She was part of the Care Collective, who wrote The Care Manifesto, 2021.