My interview with Sheila Rowbotham about her groundbreaking 1969 article “Women: the struggle for Freedom”

lipstick socialist

black-dwarf-year-of-the-militant-woman On 10 January 1969 in an article  called   “Women; the struggle for Freedom”, published  in the Marxist magazine Black Dwarf, socialist feminist Sheila Rowbotham  poured out her anger and resentment about the inequality and injustice of women’s lives:   “A much less tangible something – a smouldering, bewildered consciousness with no shape – a muttered dissatisfaction – which suddenly shoots to the surface and EXPLODES.”

Sheila  lived in a communal house  in London, worked part -time teaching at a local F.E. college, and was involved with socialist politics.  But she saw  her male comrades as  part of the problem. “They, like the left generally then, treated women with derision when we spoke up about how we felt about our lives,” she told me when I spoke to her.   This came to a head when she became involved in producing an issue on women’s issues for “Black…

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