Two pioneering feminists present a groundbreaking collection recovering a generation’s revolutionary insights, bold ideas that in some ways went underground, but are ready to inspire a new generation
When Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique in 1963, it exploded into women’s consciousnesses like an atom bomb. Soon the women’s rights movement, which had largely been focused on labor concerns since the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, found new expression in a women’s liberation movement, and the consciousness raising groups that began to meet in the 1960s grew into a mutli-racial movement that took on birth control, orgasms, intersectionality, housework, self-defense, childcare, rape, identity, healthcare, abortion, sexual harassment, pornography, prostitution, women’s art, and more. Here are the essential visionary and radical writings that made the movement and spurred it onward, in more than 90 selections by over 100 different writers and collectives: from Pauli Murray to bell hooks, the Miss America Pageant protest to the battle over pornography, JANE and abortions in Chicago to the Boston Women’s Health Collective, Toni Morrison and Florynce Kennedy to the Combahee River Collective, Susan Griffin to Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem to Susan Faludi, and many more. Focusing especially on writings that captured that electric moment when women exposed for one another the full dimensions of patriarchy in America and created a movement, each piece is expertly introduced with headnotes by writers and activists Alix Kates Shulman and Honor Moore who experienced the revolutionary ferment of the 1960s and 70s firsthand.