Feminist writer Shulamith Firestone dead at 67

Associated Press Modified: August 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm •  Published: August 31, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Writer Shulamith Firestone, who published her influential "The Dialectic of Sex" at age 25 and then retreated into isolation and mental illness, has died at age 67.

Firestone was found dead Tuesday in her Manhattan apartment, said her sister Laya Firestone Seghi. The death was from natural causes.

"The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution" was published in 1970 during the height of the women's liberation movement.

Firestone applied Marxist analysis to the status of women and argued that true liberation would come only when women were freed from childbearing. In Firestone's utopian future, babies would be gestated outside the womb and raised by both sexes.

"The tyranny of the biological family would be broken," she wrote.

The book joined works like Kate Millett's "Sexual Politics" and Germaine Greer's "The Female Eunuch" as a 1970s feminist standard and is still assigned in college courses.

But Firestone retreated from public life after the book was published and was hospitalized with schizophrenia in the 1980s.

More recently she became so reclusive that according to her landlord, Bob Perl, she had been dead for about a week when her body was discovered.