Classic documents Classic Feminist Writings

This section of the on-line archive contains classic feminist writings that helped define Second Wave feminism.

A Kind of Memo by Casey Hayden and Mary King (1965) This paper about women in social movements was one of the first documents of the emerging women's liberation movement.

NOW Statement of Purpose Adopted at the organizing conference in Washington, D. C. ( October 29, 1966) The original mission statement of the National Organization for Women.

Sexual Politics by Kate Millett (1968) Circulated as a short pamphlet, the ideas in this article were later incorporated into Chapter 2 of Kate Millett's classic feminist book of the same name.

Toward a Radical Movement by Heather Booth, Evie Goldfield,& Sue Munaker (1968) This paper investigates the mythology of the liberated "New Woman" as defined by the popular media of the day.

The Women's Rights Movement in the U.S. : A New View by Shulamith Firestone (1968) A radical interpretation of the feminist movement in the USA— a history largely unknown at the time.

Voice of the Women's Liberation Movement (1968-69) Issues of the first national women's liberation newsletter.

The Jeanette Rankin Brigade: Woman Power? by Shulamith Firestone (1968) The Jeanette Rankin Brigade was a women's protest to end the SE Asia War. This article is a radical feminist critique of that well intentioned, but ultimately frustrating effort.

Funeral Oration for the Burial of Traditional Womanhood by Kathie Amatniek (1968) The Jeanette Rankin Brigade was a women's protest to end the SE Asia War. Radical feminists staged a mock funeral for "Traditional Womanhood" during protest. This was the funeral oration.

Black Women in Poverty by Various authors (1968) An exploration of the complexities of reproductive freedom in the context of America's racial and gender nightmare.

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.

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.

The Grand Coolie Damn by Marge Piercy (1969) An angry articulate expose of the sexism prevalent in the American Left of the time.

Females and Welfare by Betsy Warrior (undated but probably early 1970's). A feminist analysis of the welfare rights movement.

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.

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.

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.

Poor White Women by Roxanne Dunbar (1970?) A powerful account of growing up poor, white, rural and female.

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.

The Vagina on Trial by Kathleen Barry (1971). An article first published in a pamphlet issued by Women Against Rape.

Lesbianism and Feminism by Anne Koedt (1971). A theoretical paper exploring this highly complex relationship.

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.

Why I Want a Wife by Judy Syfers (1971) A wickedly humorous introduction to the sex roles defined by conventional marriage.
The Tyranny of Structurelessness by Jo Freeman (1971) An analysis of leadership in the women's liberation movement by one of its earliest members.

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.

The BITCH Manifesto by Jo Freeman (1972) An analysis of how strong independent women are viewed in our society.

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.

Consciousness-Raising by the Women's Collective (early 1970's) Practical guidelines on how to set up consciousness raising groups from Connecticut feminists.

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.

Is the Women's Movement in Trouble by Roberta Lynch (1976) An examination of the state of women's liberation in 1976.

What is Socialist Feminism? by Barbara Ehrenreich (1976) An analysis of the difference between radical and socialist feminism.

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.


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