Second Wave Sisterhood

The Feminist Library

Sisterhood, socialising, and solidarity during the Women's Liberation Movement.

One World Many Women, 1988, From the collection of: The Feminist Library
Second wave feminists supported each other
Solidarity and sisterhood were central to the Women's Liberation Movement, with feminists coming together to support each other. This all day event was held at Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp, to celebrate the diversity and unity of women around the world.
London Lesbian Line, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

Feminists from particular minority groups, or affected by specific issues, also stuck together, forming support groups like the London Lesbian Line – an advice phone line for lesbian women in the capital.

Irish Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1985, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

Just as we do now, feminists then looked back at the history of the women that came before them, in order to learn from and celebrate it.

We Are Here: Conference of Black Feminists in Britain, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

Black feminists organised together around their rights, campaigning against the dual oppression of sexism and racism.

Black Single Mothers - We Are Family, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

The intersectional nature of the movement was visible in many campaigns, like the one of Black Single Mothers.

Women’s Alcohol Centre, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

The Women's Alcohol Centre offered support for women struggling with alcohol problems – who were often marginalised or misunderstood by mainstream addiction services.

The Personal is Political, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

‘The Personal is Political’ was the key Women’s Liberation Movement slogan that was used in consciousness-raising groups, where women discussed their personal experiences of everyday sexism in their lives.

Through this process, women came to realise that such experiences were not their own individual problem, but were part of women’s systematic oppression which had to be dealt with by collective political action.

This message is very much still alive today through campaigns such as the Everyday Sexism project.

Reclaim the Note, From the collection of: The Feminist Library
They made music, produced culture, and had fun
Like the suffrage movement, the Women's Liberation Movement was highly engaged in popular culture – producing music, publications, and performances to challenge the male-dominated mainstream and get their message across in an engaging way. All-female, feminist choirs emerged…
Northern Women’s Liberation Rock Band, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

…and rock bands…

Rock Against Sexism, From the collection of: The Feminist Library
The Official Opening of the Sound Kitchen, 1986, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

…and even a women's recording studio.

Celebrating Women Festival, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

Second wave feminists organised events and festivals celebrating women.

A Summer Festival for Women with disAbilities, 1989, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

Many of these were inclusive, diverse, and accessible.

Rebel in paradise, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

They produced their own theatre pieces, to tell women's stories…

Gone With The Wind, 1991, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

…and gave popular culture a feminist twist.

Feminist Review 17: Many Voices, One Chant, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

They elevated women's voices by creating their own feminist print media – magazines, books and audio books, pamphlets, posters and leaflets.

Spare Rib, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

The most notable of these was Spare Rib magazine, founded by Marsha Rowe and Rosie Boycott in 1972, and run as a collective from 1983 until 1993.

Feminist Audio Books, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

Feminist Audio Books (FAB) was created to give people with visual impairments access to feminist material.

Some Girls, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

Feminist youth workers enabled young women to get creative and have fun.

Palestinian Women Speak, From the collection of: The Feminist Library
And they worked with women from many parts of the world
The Women's Liberation Movement also had an international focus, engaging in global campaigns and standing in solidarity with women from all over the world.
Micronesia, From the collection of: The Feminist Library
Women and Ireland Conference, From the collection of: The Feminist Library
Iranian Women’s Solidarity Group, From the collection of: The Feminist Library
Nicaragua: The War Ends… The Battle Begins, From the collection of: The Feminist Library
Wimins International Summer Event, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

They also believed in the importance of coming together across borders, to share knowledge, ideas, and campaigns.

3rd International Feminist Bookfair, 1988, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

The first International Feminist Bookfair was held in London in 1984, and was followed by bookfairs in Oslo (1986), Montréal (1988), Barcelona (1990), Amsterdam (1992), and Melbourne (1994).

International Day of Action, From the collection of: The Feminist Library

They acknowledged the global nature of many issues affecting women worldwide, and joined together to campaign in solidarity.

The Feminist Library today continues in that same spirit of sisterhood and solidarity, campaigning together, while also sharing fun, inspiration and friendship.

www.feministlibrary.co.uk

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile