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Female Liberation: A Radical Feminist Organization records

 Collection
Identifier: M122

Overview

Female Liberation was a small group of women activists seeking to confront issues, such as self-defense, equal wages, birth control, consumerism, and the media's portrayal of women. To meet these goals, they published weekly newsletters and a journal of women's poetry and essays, held public meetings and classes and demonstrated to protest perceived injustices. Although the organization went through several incarnations during its seven year history, it's goal throughout was to create a community that worked for and supported women's issues in the Boston area.

Dates

  • 1968-1974

Creator

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

Female Liberation began in 1968 with a small group of women activists hoping to challenge the subjugation of women in America. These women were committed to confronting issues, such as self defense for women, equal distribution of housework, consumerism, birth control, abortion, childcare, the media's portrayal of women, and guaranteed minimum pay. They published weekly newsletters and quarterly journals, such as No More Fun and Games and The Second Wave, in addition to holding public meetings, classes, and demonstrations to protest perceived injustices against women. As Female Liberation grew, some of the new women who came to work in the office were members of the Young Socialist Alliance of the Socialist Worker Party (YSA/SWP). The YSA/SWP women began building coalitions between Female Liberation and other groups as a means of gaining political power. Unfortunately, this method of political organization ran counter to the original intent of the founding members, who strongly believed that Female Liberation needed to remain independent to the ensure the purity of its message. In 1970, after a brief attempt to reconcile these opposing political ideologies, the core group of original members (Dana Densmore, Lisa Leghorn, Abby Rockefeller, Betsy Warrior and Jayne West) officially split from Female Liberation and renamed themselves Cell 16. After the split, legal arguments ensued over ownership of the Boylston Street office, office equipment, back stock of publications, legal rights to the name Female Liberation, and mail addressed to the Boylston Street office. Despite the legal battles, by February 1971, both groups had reorganized themselves and were once again active participants in the Women's Movement. By 1974, however, Female Liberation disbanded permanently due to an inability to "agree on priorities or political perspective" (Press Release: The End of Female Liberation, 1974). Female Liberation ultimately split into three groups—The Second Wave, which continued to publish feminist journals; I am Woman, a radio show on WBZ-FM; and a third group that began work on an unnamed women's liberation newspaper.

Chronology

  • 1968 Birth of Female Liberation: A Radical Feminist Organization
  • 1968-1972 Publishes six issues of No More Fun and Games: A Journal of Female Liberation.
  • 1970 Cell 16 and Female Liberation split.
  • 1970 Female Liberation begins publishing The Second Wave.
  • 1972 Female Liberation and YSA/SWP begin to dissolve ties.
  • 1974 Female Liberation disbands completely into three groups, The Second Wave Journal, I am Woman radio show, and a third group that plans to publish an unnamed female liberation newspaper.
1968
Birth of Female Liberation: A Radical Feminist Organization
1968-1972
Publishes six issues of No More Fun and Games: A Journal of Female Liberation.
1970
Cell 16 and Female Liberation split.
1970
Female Liberation begins publishing The Second Wave.
1972
Female Liberation and YSA/SWP begin to dissolve ties.
1974
Female Liberation disbands completely into three groups, The Second Wave Journal, I am Woman radio show, and a third group that plans to publish an unnamed female liberation newspaper.

Extent

0.6 cubic feet (2 containers)

System of Arrangement:

Arranged in one alphabetical sequence.

Physical Location

59/4

Related Archival Materials:

The Second Wave: A Magazine of the New Feminism records (M019).

A microfilmed version of the Female Liberation: A Radical Feminist Organization records is located in the Archives Faculty Publications Collection, filed under Grassroots Feminist Organizations.
Title
Finding aid for the Female Liberation: A Radical Feminist Organization Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Dominique Tremblay
Date
November 2006; updated by Anna J. Cook July 2010.
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US