Classic Feminist Writings

Classic documents These are the articles, pamphlets, manifestos, and stories produced by the women's liberation movement that helped influence the thinking of CWLU members. Some are reproduced from the originals. Others were scanned from books. Still others were retrieved from online sources.

The Tyranny Of Structurelessness

by Jo Freeman aka Joreen

The earliest version of this article was given as a talk at a conference called by the Southern Female Rights Union, held in Beulah, Mississippi in May 1970. It was written up for Notes from the Third Year (1971), but the editors did not use it. It was then submitted to several movement publications, but only one asked permission to publish it; others did so without permission. The first official place of publication was in Vol. 2, No. 1 of The Second Wave (1972). This early version in movement publications was authored by Joreen. Different versions were published in the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, Vol. 17, 1972-73, pp. 151-165, and Ms. magazine, July 1973, pp. 76-78, 86-89, authored by Jo Freeman. This piece spread all over the world. Numerous people have edited, reprinted, cut, and translated "Tyranny" for magazines, books and web sites, usually without the permission or knowledge of the author. The version below is a blend of the three cited here.

Read more... [The Tyranny Of Structurelessness]
From Suffrage to Women's Liberation

by Jo Freeman 

Published in Women: A Feminist Perspective ed. by Jo Freeman, Mountain View, Calif: Mayfield, 5th edition, 1995, pp. 509-28. 

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Institutional Discrimination

by Jo Freeman

This text is based on a lecture given frequently in the 1970s.

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Living Alone: The Rise of Capitalism and the Decline of Families

three book review by Harriet Fraad 

Published at truthout here on 10/03/12

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Socialist Feminism: A Strategy for the Women's Movement

One of the most comprehensive pamphlets on Socialist Feminism as it specifically identifies what it is and isn't.

special thanks to Duke's Special Collection library for keeping this material posted for so long.

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The Rise and Demise of Women's Liberation
by Marlene Dixon (1977) A Marxist attempt to explain the decline of the women's liberation movement.
Read more... [The Rise and Demise of Women's Liberation]
What is Socialist Feminism?
by Barbara Ehrenreich (1976) An analysis of the difference between radical and socialist feminism.
Read more... [What is Socialist Feminism?]
Is the Women's Movement in Trouble
by Roberta Lynch (1976) An examination of the state of women's liberation in 1976.
Read more... [Is the Women's Movement in Trouble]
Trashing: The Dark Side of Sisterhood
by Jo Freeman (1976) Women's liberation was not all bread and roses. This article examines the destructive phenomenon of "trashing"— personal attacks on other women in the movement.
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by the Women's Collective (early 1970's) Practical guidelines on how to set up consciousness raising groups from Connecticut feminists.
Read more... [Consciousness-Raising]
Covert Sex Discrimination Against Women as Medical Patients
by Carol Downer (1972) Rampant sexism in the medical industry is exposed in a speech to the American Psychological Association.
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The BITCH Manifesto
by Jo Freeman (1972) An analysis of how strong independent women are viewed in our society.
Read more... [The BITCH Manifesto]
The Women's Liberation Movement
by Jo Freeman (1971) A history of the feminist movement in America told from the point of a view of a second wave feminist.
Read more... [The Women's Liberation Movement]
Why I Want a Wife

by Judy Syfers (1971) A wickedly humorous introduction to the sex roles defined by conventional marriage.   A man named Adam Ayds wrote a 1995 answer to this essay which you may read HERE

Read more... [Why I Want a Wife]
Feminism Old Wave and New Wave
by Ellen DuBois (1971). A historical paper comparing the experiences of women in the abolitionist movement with the experiences of women in the New Left.
Read more... [Feminism Old Wave and New Wave]
Lesbianism and Feminism
by Anne Koedt (1971). A theoretical paper exploring this highly complex relationship.
Read more... [Lesbianism and Feminism]
The Vagina on Trial
by Kathleen Barry (1971). An article first published in a pamphlet issued by Women Against Rape.
Read more... [The Vagina on Trial]
Rape Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry
by Kay Potter (1971). An article first published in a pamphlet issued by Women Against Rape.
Read more... [Rape Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry]
Poor White Women
by Roxanne Dunbar (1970?) A powerful account of growing up poor, white, rural and female.
Read more... [Poor White Women]
The Woman Identified Woman
by Radicalesbians (1970) This manifesto was originally published in Notes for the Third Year and challenged commonly held stereotypes about lesbians.
Read more... [The Woman Identified Woman]
The Politics of Housework
by Pat Mainardi (1970). A widely read article from a member of the NY Redstockings Group about the savage inequalities in domestic family labor.
Read more... [The Politics of Housework]
Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm
by Anne Koedt (1970). A classic article by the NY based feminist writer. Widely read throughout the women's liberation movement at the time.
Read more... [Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm]
Females and Welfare
by Betsy Warrior (undated but probably around 1969). A feminist analysis of the welfare rights movement.
Read more... [Females and Welfare]
The Grand Coolie Damn
by Marge Piercy (1969) An angry articulate expose of the sexism prevalent in the American Left of the time.
Read more... [The Grand Coolie Damn]
Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female
by Frances Beal (1969) An indictment of racism and sexism by an activist in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.
Read more... [Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female]
No More Miss America!
(1968) The 1968 Miss America Pageant was the scene of one of the first public protests by a women's liberation group.
Read more... [No More Miss America!]
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