Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids
Printable Finding Aid. Back to Browsing Version.
|Title:||Female Liberation: A Radical Feminist Organization records|
|Volume:||0.6 cubic ft. (2 boxes)|
|Scope and Content Abstract:||This collection documents the work of Female Liberation: A Radical Feminist Organization, 1968-1974. These records demonstrate how internal conflict within an organization can affect a group's ability to develop a unified political strategy. In addition, the records offer insight into the many complex issues that surrounded the Boston feminist movement at its conception including the difficulty in maintaining a harmonious ideology among different groups within the Women's Movement. Research topics for this collection include women's rights and feminist theory and publications. This collection contains newsletters of Female Liberation and other feminist groups, position papers, statements, correspondence, legal documents, financial information, bills, fliers, press releases, and copies of No More Fun and Games: A Journal of Female Liberation (Issues 1-6).|
|Historical Abstract:||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 it's seven year history, it's goal throughout was to create a community that worked for and supported women's issues in the Boston area.|
|Arrangement:||Arranged in one alphabetical sequence.|
|Subjects and Contributors:||
|Restrictions:||The collection is unrestricted.|
The Second Wave: A Magazine of the New Feminism records (M19).
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.
|Processor:||Finding aid prepared by Dominique Tremblay, November 2006; updated by Anna J. Cook, July 2010.|
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 groupsThe 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.
|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 splits.|
|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.|
|1||Black and Third World Women's Liberation||1971-1972|
|1||Boston University Female Liberation||1971-1972|
|1||Boston Women's Abortion Coalition||1971-1972|
|Cell 16/Female Liberation Split|
|1||Cell 16 Statements||1970-1971|
|1||Female Liberation Statements||1970|
|1||Financial and Legal Documents||1970|
|1||Correspondence (3 folders)||1968-1973|
|1||"Females and Liberation: A Collection of Articles" by Dana Densmore||1970|
|1||Film Series (with Cambridge Women's Center)||1973|
|1||Gynecological Self-Help Presentation||1972-1973|
|1||Letter of Resignation (Office Manager of Female Liberation)||1972|
|1||National Abortion Coalition||1971, 1973|
|1||Newsletter: Voice of Women's Liberation Movement||1968|
|1-2||Newsletter: Female Liberation (8 folders)||1969-1973, n.d.|
|2||"No More Fun and Games: A Journal of Female Liberation" (3 folders)||1968-1970|
|2||"No More Fun and Games: A Journal of Female Liberation": Journal Requests||1969-1970|
|2||"No More Fun and Games: A Journal of Female Liberation": Unsolicited Articles||1969-1970|
|2||Operations of Female Liberation||ca.1970|
|2||People's Action Against Cutbacks||1973|
|2||Position Papers||1968-1972, n.d.|
|2||Press Release: The End of Female Liberation||1974|
|2||"The Right to Choose Abortion" (Journal)||ca.1971|
|2||"The Second Wave" (v.2, n.3)||n.d.|