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Gayle Rubin (b. 1949) has been writing articles that have energized gender studies and feminist theory since the 1960s. Her research is pivotal to studies in queer theory, and her essays continue to be republished, translated, cited, and referenced. While studying at the University of Michigan in the late 1960s, she constructed a major in women's studies by taking advantage of the open-ended honors program. The thesis she worked on for this major later became the often cited essay, “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the ‘Political Economy’ of Sex.” She earned her PhD in anthropology and continues to teach and write. She is also a longtime activist in gay and lesbian politics.

Rubin's (1975) essay, Traffic, examines Levi-Strauss' kinship models and shows how women ...

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