This article reflects on the intellectual and political circumstances of the publication of Gayle Rubin's 1984 essay “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality.” In particular, the article considers the context of the feminist “sex wars” of the late 1970s and early 1980s, offering a detailed account of several of the period's key events, publications, and debates. The article also reflects on the relation between this moment in the history of feminism and the history of GLBT and queer scholarship over the past several decades.

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