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Redstockings Manifesto Analysis Essay

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Redstockings manifesto analysis essay

Redstockings

Redstockings. also known as Redstockings of the Women's Liberation Movement. is a radical feminist group that was founded in January 1969. The word is a neologism. combining the term bluestocking. a term for intellectual women, with "red", for its association with the revolutionary left .

The group was started by Ellen Willis and Shulamith Firestone in February 1969 after the breakup of New York Radical Women. [1] Other early members included Kathie Sarachild. Patricia Mainardi, Barbara Leon, Irene Peslikis. [2] and Alix Kates Shulman. [3] Shulamith Firestone soon split with the group to form New York Radical Feminists along with Anne Koedt. [4] Rita Mae Brown was also briefly a member during 1970. The group was mainly active in New York City. where most of the group's members resided, and later also in Gainesville, Florida. A group called Redstockings West was started in San Francisco in 1969, but was independent of the East Coast group. Redstockings went through several phases of activity and inactivity; they first split up in 1970 and were formally refounded in 1973 by Kathie Sarachild, [5] Carol Hanisch. [5] Patricia Mainardi, and Barbara Leon. (Ellen Willis was involved only peripherally with the reformed group.)

One of the group's earliest actions was on February 13, 1969, when members stormed a hearing of the New York State Joint Legislative Committee on Public Health, which was considering abortion law reform. They objected to the hearing, asking “Why are 14 men and only one woman on your list of speakers—and she’s a nun?” [6] The committee chairman countered that these were the experts on the subject, which further enraged the Redstockings women, whose position was that there were no better experts on abortion than women, and that abortion law needed to be repealed rather than reformed.

About a month later, Redstockings soon held its own "hearing", an open meeting in the Washington Square Methodist Church where twelve women testified about their experiences with illegal abortion. One of the twelve said, "We are the true experts, the only experts, we who've had abortions." [7]

The March speak out was Redstockings’ opportunity to to hear testimony of those they felt were the experts: “We are the true experts, the only experts, we who have had abortions.”

In the early 1970s, Redstockings were noted for their "speakouts" and Zap (action) and street theater on the issue of abortion rights. (This style of protest was emulated by an early-1980s pro-choice group, No More Nice Girls. one of the founders of which was Redstocking veteran, Ellen Willis.)

On March 3, 1989 Redstockings met again at the Washington Square Methodist Church to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their 1969 meeting at a speakout called "Abortion: Women Tell it Like it Is, Was, and Ought to Be. 1969-1989."

More recently, the group leads a project to make available radical feminist papers and original source organizing material building on their concept "History for Activist Use" through the Women's Liberation Archives for Action, as well as putting out new theory on women's oppression and what to do about it. In 2001, they put out a book called Confronting the Myth of America: Women's Liberation and National Health Care. As of 2006, the group is active and operates a website, though Kathie Sarachild is the only original member still active with the group.

The group is a strong advocate of consciousness raising and what they refer to as "The Pro-Woman Line" – the idea that women's submission to male supremacy was a conscious adaptation to their lack of power under patriarchy. rather than internalized "brainwashing" on the part of women, as was held by some other radical feminist groups. Redstockings holds the view that all men oppress all women as a class and that it is the responsibility of individual men to give up male supremacy. rather than the responsibility of women to change themselves.

Redstockings' relationship to other strands of feminism of the 1970s was complex. Like many other radical feminists, they were critical of liberal feminist groups like the National Organization for Women. whom they viewed as advancing women's liberation only as a type of institutional reform while ignoring the interpersonal power of men over women. The Redstockings were more influenced by Marxism than other radical feminist groups. However, they strongly rejected socialist feminism (which they referred to as "politico" feminism) as subordinating the issue of women's liberation to class struggle. On the other hand, Redstockings were against cultural feminism. which in their view substituted the building of a separatist women's culture for political engagement. (In Redstockings' view, most other tendencies of radical feminism, especially after 1975, were expressions of "cultural feminism".) Brooke Williams was a member of the group who critiqued this tendency strongly. [8]

Redstockings were strongly opposed to lesbian separatism. seeing interpersonal relationships with men as an important arena of feminist struggle, and hence seeing separatism as escapist. (Like most radical feminists of the time, Redstockings saw lesbianism primarily as a political identity rather than a fundamental part of personal identity, and therefore analyzed it primarily in political terms.) Redstockings were also opposed to male homosexuality. which they saw as a deeply misogynist rejection of women. Redstockings' line on gay men and lesbians is often criticized as homophobic. [9]

Notable essays associated with the group include "The Redstockings Manifesto" and "Program for Consciousness-Raising", as well as "The Politics of Housework" by Pat Mainardi. "The Redstockings Manifesto" and "The Politics of Housework" were included in the 1970 anthology Sisterhood is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings From The Women's Liberation Movement . edited by Robin Morgan. [10]

The refounded group published a journal, Feminist Revolution. A nearly complete anthology of articles from the journal was published in 1979 by Random House. The anthology omits a controversial report on Gloria Steinem's involvement with a liberal youth group that was later revealed to have been funded by the CIA. This publication created a lasting rift between members of Redstockings and feminists who were close to Steinem. [11]

  1. ^ Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 124.
  2. ^ Rosalyn Baxandall, Irene Peslikis: Too Soon: A Loss for Feminism and Art. Veteran Feminists of America, accessed online 11 July 2007.
  3. ^ Biography. alixkshulman.com, accessed online 11 July 2007.
  4. ^ Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 133.
  5. ^ ab Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 144.
  6. ^ " " Women Break Up Abortion Hearing " ". New York Times. February 14, 1969. p. 42.
  7. ^ Brownmiller, Susan (March 27, 1969). "Everywoman's Abortions: 'The Oppressor is Man ' ". Village Voice (The Village Voice).
  8. ^ Redstockings (1979). Feminist Revolution. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-73240-5 .
  9. ^ Echols, 1989
  10. ^ "Sisterhood is powerful. an anthology of writings from the women's liberation movement (Book, 1970)". [WorldCat.org]. Retrieved 2015-05-08.
  11. ^ Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 145, 150n.
  • Echols, Alice. (1989). Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967–1975. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-1787-2
  • Redstockings. (1979). Feminist Revolution. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-73240-5
  • Willis, Ellen (1992). "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism" (originally published 1984). In: Ellen Willis, No More Nice Girls: Countercultural Essays. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 0-8195-6284-X

External links Edit

Other articles

Redstockings manifesto analysis essay

Redstockings. also known as Redstockings of the Women's Liberation Movement. is a radical feminist group that was most active during the 1970s. The word is a neologism. combining the term bluestocking. a pejorative term for intellectual women, with "red", for its association with the revolutionary left .

The group was started by Ellen Willis and Shulamith Firestone in February 1969 after the breakup of New York Radical Women. [Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 124. ] Other early members included Kathie Sarachild. Patricia Mainardi. Barbara Leon. Irene Peslikis. [Rosalyn Baxandall, [http://www.vfa.us/IrenePeslikis.htm Irene Peslikis: Too Soon: A Loss for Feminism and Art ]. Veteran Feminists of America, accessed online 11 July 2007. ] and Alix Kates Shulman. [ [http://www.alixkshulman.com/bio.htm Biography ]. alixkshulman.com, accessed online 11 July 2007. ] Shulamith Firestone soon split with the group to form New York Radical Feminists along with Anne Koedt. [Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 133. ] Rita Mae Brown was also briefly a member during 1970. The group was mainly active in New York City. where most of the group's members resided, and later also in Gainesville, Florida. A group called Redstockings West was started in San Francisco in 1969, but was independent of the East Coast group. Redstockings went through several phases of activity and inactivity; they first split up in 1970 and were formally refounded in 1973 by Kathie Sarachild, Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 144. ] Carol Hanisch. Patricia Mainardi, and Barbara Leon. (Ellen Willis was involved only peripherally with the reformed group.)In the early 1970s, Redstockings were noted for their "speakouts" and "zap actions" (a combination of disruptive protest and street theater ) on the issue of abortion rights. (This style of protest was emulated by an early-1980s pro-choice group, No More Nice Girls. one of the founders of which was Redstocking veteran, Ellen Willis.) Redstockings was one of the influential but short-lived radical feminist groups of the Sixties that produced many of the expressions and actions that have become household words to people in the United States--"Sisterhood is Powerful", Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 118. ] "Consciousness-Raising", "The Personal is Political", "The Politics of Housework", [Title of a 1970 essay by Patricia Mainardi: Pat Mainardi, [http://www.cwluherstory.org/CWLUArchive/polhousework.html The Politics of Housework ]. reprinted on the CWLU Herstory Website archive, accessed online 11 July 2007. ] "The Pro-Woman Line", "The Miss America Protest".

More recently, the group leads a project to make available radical feminist papers and original source organizing material building on their concept "History for Activist Use" through the Women's Liberation Archives for Action, as well as putting out new theory on women's oppression and what to do about it. In 2001, they put out a book called Confronting the Myth of America: Women's Liberation and National Health Care. As of 2006, the group is active and operates a website, though Kathie Sarachild is the only original member still active with the group.

The group is a strong advocate of consciousness raising and what they refer to as "The Pro-Woman Line" – the idea that women's submission to male supremacy was a conscious adaptation to their lack of power under patriarchy. rather than internalized "brainwashing" on the part of women, as was held by some other radical feminist groups. Redstockings holds the view that all men oppress all women as a class and that it is the responsibility of individual men to give up male supremacy. rather than the responsibility of women to change themselves.

Redstockings relationship to other strands of feminism of the 1970s was complex. Like many other radical feminists, they were critical of liberal feminist groups like the National Organization for Women. whom they viewed as advancing women's liberation only as a type of institutional reform while ignoring the interpersonal power of men over women. The Redstockings were more influenced by Marxism than were other radical feminist groups, however, they nevertheless strongly rejected socialist feminism (which they referred to as "politico" feminism) as subordinating the issue of women's liberation to class struggle. On the other hand, Redstockings were also against cultural feminism. which in their view substituted the building of a separatist women's culture for political engagement. (In Redstockings' view, most other tendencies of radical feminism, especially after 1975, were expressions of "cultural feminism".) Brooke Williams was a member of the group who critiqued this tendency strongly [ Redstockings (1979). "Feminist Revolution". New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-73240-5. ]

Redstockings were strongly opposed to lesbian separatism. seeing interpersonal relationships with men as an important arena of feminist struggle, and hence seeing separatism as escapist. (Like most radical feminists of the time, Redstockings saw lesbianism primarily as a political identity rather than a fundamental part of personal identity, and therefore analyzed it primarily in political terms.) Redstockings were also opposed to male homosexuality. which they saw as a deeply misogynist rejection of women. Redstockings line on gay men and lesbians is often criticized as homophobic. [Echols, 1989 ]

Notable essays associated with the group include "The Redstockings Manifesto", "Program for Consciousness-Raising", and "The Politics of Housework". The refounded group published a journal, "Feminist Revolution". A nearly complete anthology of articles from the journal was published in 1979 by Random House. The anthology omits a controversial report on Gloria Steinem's involvement with a liberal youth group that was later revealed to have been funded by the CIA. This publication created a lasting rift between members of Redstockings and feminists who were close to Steinem. [Willis, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism", p. 145, 150n. ]

* Echols, Alice. (1989). "Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967–1975". Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0-8166-1787-2
* Redstockings. (1979). "Feminist Revolution". New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-73240-5
* Willis, Ellen (1992). "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism" (originally published 1984). In: Ellen Willis, "No More Nice Girls: Countercultural Essays". Wesleyan University Pr. ISBN 0-8195-6284-X

* [http://www.redstockings.org/ Official site ]
* [http://fsweb.berry.edu/academic/hass/csnider/berry/hum200/redstockings.htm "The Redstockings Manifesto" ] (1969).
* [http://scholar.alexanderstreet.com/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=2259 "The Personal is Political ] by Carol Hanisch (March, 1969).
* [http://www.afn.org/

redstock/irene2c.html "Resistances to Consciousness" ] by Irene Peslikis (1969).
* [http://fair-use.org/ellen-willis/women-and-the-myth-of-consumerism "Women and the Myth of Consumerism" ]. by Ellen Willis, "Ramparts " (1969).
* [http://www.cwluherstory.com/CWLUArchive/polhousework.html "The Politics of Housework" ] by Pat Mainardi (1970).
* [http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/wlm/fem/sarachild.html "Consciousness-Raising: A Radical Weapon" ] by Kathie Sarachild (1973), from "Feminist Revolution".
* [http://radgeek.com/gt/2006/04/30/over_my "Over My Shoulder #21: Kathie Sarachild, “The Power of History,” in "Feminist Revolution" (1975)" ] (excerpt), "Rad Geek People's Daily", April 30, 2006.
* [http://radgeek.com/gt/2006/05/07/over_my "Over My Shoulder #22: from Barbara Leon, “Consequences of the Conditioning Line,” from "Feminist Revolution" (1975)" ] (excerpt), "Rad Geek People's Daily", May 7, 2006.
* [http://www.maryellenmark.com/text/magazines/life/905W-000-004.html "An 'Oppressed Majority' Demands Its Rights" ] by Sara Davidson (photographs by Mary Ellen Mark ), "Life", 1969 – magazine article, includes interviews with and photos of Redstockings. (Archived at "MaryEllenMark.com")
* [http://leftbusinessobserver.com/Redstockings.html Interview with Kathie Sarachild and Amy Coenen of the Redstockings ] by Doug Henwood. " Left Business Observer ", January 24, 2002.
* [http://www.geocities.com/capitolhill/8425/ST-CIA.HTM "Gloria in Excelsis" ] – includes part of Redstockings 1979 statement on Gloria Steinem.
* [http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/UFDC/?b=UF00076708 WomaNews (Gainesville, Florida's Feminist Newspaper written and published by radical women in Gainesville), full text searchable ]

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StateMaster - Encyclopedia: Redstockings

The group was started by Ellen Willis and Shulamith Firestone in February 1969 after the breakup of New York Radical Women. Other early members included Kathie Sarachild, Patricia Mainardi, Barbara Leon, Irene Peslikis. and Alix Kates Shulman. Shulamith Firestone soon split with the group to form New York Radical Feminists. Rita Mae Brown was also briefly a member during 1970. The group was mainly active in New York City and later also in Gainesville, Florida, where most of the group's members resided. A group called Redstockings West was started in San Francisco in 1970, but was independent of the East Coast group. Redstockings went through several phases of activity and inactivity; they first split up in 1970 and were formally refounded in 1973 by Kathie Sarachild, Carol Hanisch. Patricia Mainardi, and Barbara Leon. (Ellen Willis' was involved only peripherally with the reformed group.) They were again dormant by 1980, but were restarted by Kathie Sarachild again in 1989. As of 2006, the group is active and operates a website, though Kathie Sarachild is the only original member still active with the group. Ellen Willis is best known as the first pop music critic for the New Yorker, working there during the 1960s. Shulamith Firestone (1945, also called Shulie Firestone) was a founding member of the Chicago Womens Liberation Union in 1969, and was a member of Redstockings and the New York Radical Feminists. Rita Mae Brown (born November 28, 1944) is a prolific American writer and social activist, notable for novels, poetry, and screenwriting.


In the early 1970s, Redstockings were were noted for their "speak outs" and "zap actions" (a combination of disruptive protest and street theater ) on the issue of abortion rights. (This style of protest was emulated by a early-1980s pro-choice group, No More Nice Girls, one of the founders of which was Redstocking veteran, Ellen Willis.) More recently, the Redstockings have been active on the issue of universal health care. Demonstrators march in the street while protesting the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on April 16, 2005. Street theatre is a form of theatrical presentation and performance in outdoor public spaces without a specific paying audience. The morality and legality of abortion are controversial topics. Universal health care is a health care system in which all residents of a geographic or political entity have their health care paid for by the government, regardless of medical condition.

The group is a strong advocate of consciousness raising and what they refer to as "The Pro-Woman Line" Рthe idea that women's submission to male supremacy was a conscious adaptation to their lack power under patriarchy. rather than internalized "brainwashing" on the part of women, as was held by some other radical feminist groups. Redstockings holds the view that all men oppress all women as a class and that it is the responsibility of individual men to give up male supremacy. rather than the responsibility of women to change themselves. Consciousness-raising is process, as by group therapy, of achieving greater awareness of ones needs in order to fulfill ones potential as a person. Male privilege is a term used to describe the rights alledgedly granted to the male population in society on the basis of their biological sex. Patriarchy (from Greek: patria meaning father and arch̩ meaning rule) is the anthropological term used to define the sociological condition where male members of a society tend to predominate in positions of power; with the more powerful the position, the more likely it is that a male will hold that. Male privilege is a term used to describe the rights alledgedly granted to the male population in society on the basis of their biological sex.


Redstockings relationship to other strands of feminism of the 1970s was complex. Like many other radical feminists, they were strongly opposed to liberal feminist groups like the National Organization for Women. whom they viewed as advancing women's liberation only as a type of institutional reform while ignoring the interpersonal power of men over women. The Redstockings were more influenced by Marxism than were other radical feminist groups, however, they nevertheless strongly rejected socialist feminism (which they referred to as "politico" feminism) as subordinating the issue of women's liberation to class struggle. (Like other radical feminists, Redstockings saw women's oppression as primary, and other forms of class and racial oppression as springing from it.) On the other hand, Redstockings were also against cultural feminism. which in their view ignored class differences among women and in the larger society and substituted the building of a separatist women's culture for political engagement. (In Redstockings' view, most other tendencies of radical feminism, especially after 1975, were expressions of "cultural feminism".) To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. Feminism is a body of social theory and political movement primarily based on and motivated by the experiences of women. Marxism is the philosophy, social theory and political practice based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century German, Jewish, socialist philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary. Socialist feminism is a branch of feminism that focuses upon both the public and private spheres of a womans life and argues that liberation can only be achieved by working to end both the economic and cultural sources of womens oppression. Cultural Feminism is the theory that there are fundamental personality differences between men and women, and that womens differences are special and should be celebrated.


Redstockings were strongly opposed to lesbian separatism. seeing interpersonal relationships with men as an important arena of feminist struggle, and hence seeing separatism (and at times even lesbianism itself) as escapist. (Like most radical feminists of the time, Redstockings saw lesbianism primarily as a political identity rather than a fundamental part of personal identity, and therefore analyzed it primarily in political terms.) Redstockings were also opposed to male homosexuality. which they saw as a deeply misogynist rejection of women. Redstockings line on gay men and lesbians is often criticized as homophobic. Lesbian separatism refers to a range of extreme positions within the feminist and gay liberation movements. In modern society, gay is a word which can be used as either a noun or adjective. Misogyny is an exaggerated pathological aversion towards women. Homophobia is a term used to describe: A culturally determined phobia manifesting as fear, revulsion, or contempt for homosexuality.

Notable essays associated with the group include "The Redstockings Manifesto", "Program for Consciousness-Raising", and "The Politics of Housework". A number of other essays written by the refounded group were published in a 1975 anthology, Feminist Revolution. In the anthology, they also published a controversial report on Gloria Steinem's involvement with a liberal youth group that was later revealed to have been funded by the CIA. This publication created a lasting rift between members of Redstockings and feminists who were close to Steinem. (The latter report was left out of the 1979 Random House edition for fear of a libel lawsuit.) Gloria Steinem Gloria Steinem (born March 25, 1934) is an American feminist, journalist and a spokeswoman for womens rights. The CIA Seal The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an American intelligence agency, responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and reporting such information to the various branches of the U.S. Government. In English and American law, and systems based on them, libel and slander are two forms of defamation (or defamation of character), which is the tort or delict of making a false statement of fact that injures someones reputation.

External links
  • Official site
  • "The Redstockings Manifesto" (1969).
  • "The Personal is Political by Carol Hanisch (March, 1969).
  • "Resistances to Consciousness" by Irene Peslikis (1969).
  • "Women and the Myth of Consumerism". by Ellen Willis, Ramparts (1969).
  • "The Politics of Housework" by Pat Mainardi (1970).
  • "Consciousness-Raising: A Radical Weapon" by Kathie Sarachild (1973), from Feminist Revolution .
  • "Over My Shoulder #21: Kathie Sarachild, “The Power of History,” in Feminist Revolution (1975)" (excerpt), Rad Geek People's Daily. April 30, 2006.
  • "Over My Shoulder #22: from Barbara Leon, “Consequences of the Conditioning Line,” from Feminist Revolution (1975)" (excerpt), Rad Geek People's Daily. May 7, 2006.
  • "An 'Oppressed Majority' Demands Its Rights" by Sara Davidson (photographs by Mary Ellen Mark ), Life . 1969 – magazine article, includes interviews with and photos of Redstockings. (Archived at MaryEllenMark.com )
  • Interview with Kathie Sarachild and Amy Coenen of the Redstockings by Doug Henwood. Left Business Observer . January 24, 2002.

Ramparts was an American political and literary magazine, published from 1962 through 1975. Mary Ellen Mark portrait of Marlon Brando Mary Ellen Mark (born March 20th in Philadelphia 1940) is an American photographer, known for her arresting images, the content of which is mainly between social photojournalism and portraiture. A cover of Life Magazine from 1911 Life has been the name of two notable magazines published in the United States. Doug Henwood (born December 7, 1952) is an American journalist who writes frequently about economic affairs. Doug Henwood (born December 7, 1952) is an American journalist who writes frequently about economic affairs.

References
  • Echols, Alice. (1989). Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967–1975. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0816617872
  • Redstockings. (1979). Feminist Revolution. New York: Random House. ISBN 0394732405
  • Willis, Ellen (1992). Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism. In: Ellen Willis, No More Nice Girls: Countercultural Essays. Wesleyan University Pr. ISBN 081956284X

Categories: Feminist organizations | History of women's rights in the United States