Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 373-2351

Table of Contents

Collection Overview

Historical Note



Printable Finding Aid

Search All Finding Aids

Archival Collections

Manuscript Collections
Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids
Collection
Title:Female Liberation: A Radical Feminist Organization records
Dates:1968-1974
Call Number:M122

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
1968Birth of Female Liberation: A Radical Feminist Organization
1968-1972Publishes six issues of No More Fun and Games: A Journal of Female Liberation.
1970Cell 16 and Female Liberation splits.
1970Female Liberation begins publishing The Second Wave.
1972Female 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.