SUGGESTED READINGS FOR THE SHULAMITH FIRESTONE WOMEN’S LIBERATION MEMORIAL CONFERENCE
The readings are in chronological order, with the most important readings for the Conference starred with asterisks. ** The selections were very difficult to make, as you can not possibly read everything here before the Conference and there is much else “important” to read. Trust yourself to skim according to what seems most interesting and pertinent to you. — Kathie Sarachild
**Call for an Assembly of Unrepresented People in Washington, D.C. August 6-9, 1965
Robert Moses, revered director of the Mississippi Project of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was the leading spirit behind this Assembly. His name appears on the list of signers as “Bob Parris,” as he had recently begun using his mother’s maiden name. Also behind the Assembly is the spirit of SNCC’s emerging effort to move white folks, along with black folks, toward understanding that they, too, were oppressed –unrepresented– in the “land of the free.”
**Sex and Caste: A Kind of Memo from Casey Hayden and Mary King to a Number of Other Women in the Peace and Freedom Movements
by Casey Hayden and Mary King, November 11, 1965. First published in the movement journal Liberation, April, 1966.
The Longest Revolution
by Juliet Mitchell, December 1966. She later incorporated this article–soon to be pamphlet– into her 1971 book Woman’s Estate.
**Women in the Radical Movement
by Anne Koedt. Reprinted in Notes From the First Year (Notes 1), February 17, 1968, New York Radical Women, edited by Shulamith Firestone.
(You can find a link to the entire text from Notes From the First Year, including the 3 articles listed below, on the Redstockings website!)
**The Women’s Rights Movement in the U.S. : A New View
by Shulamith Firestone, published for the first time in Notes 1, June 1968.This became Chapter 2 of her book The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution.
Women of the World Unite, We Have Nothing to Lose But Our Men!
by Carol Hanisch and Elizabeth Sutherland (Betita Martinez), published for the first time in Notes 1, June 1968.
Toward a Female Liberation Movement
by Beverly Jones and Judith Brown, July 1968, Gainesville, Florida.
**Birth Control Pills and Black Children, the Sisters’ Reply and Patricia Robinson’s Untitled Article
First published in the women’s liberation journal Lilith, December 1968 in Seattle, WA. Republished widely, including mass market anthologies The Black Woman (1970) and Voices of Women’s Liberation (1971).
**Radical Feminist Consciousness-Raising Workshop Proposal
November 27, 1968. Republished as “Program for Feminist Consciousness-Raising” in Notes From the Second Year, 1970, edited by Shulamith Firestone and Anne Koedt.
by Kate Millett, pamphlet from a speech given in November 1968. A powerful condensation of the main ideas she expanded into her 1970 book Sexual Politics.
**Women’s Liberation, The Gainesville Experience
by Judith Brown, January 1969, Southern Patriot newsletter of the Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF). We are sorry that the columns in this one-page document are slightly clipped at the ends.
by Ti-Grace Atkinson, April/May 1969. This article was first published in Notes 2, c. June 1970.
**Female Liberation as the Basis for Social Revolution
by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, 1969. Published in 1970 in Notes 2 and Sisterhood Is Powerful.
**The Personal Is Political
by Carol Hanisch, written originally as a letter to women in SCEF in February, 1969 and first published with this title in 1970 in Notes 2.
**How to Start a Group
by Judith Brown, first written in Feb-Mar, 1969 as a chapter in an UNCOMPLETED consciousness-raising handbook project and published for the first time by Redstockings in 1985.
** The Redstockings Manifesto
July 7, 1969.
**Whatever Happened to Women? Nothing – That’s the Trouble: A Report on the New Feminism
by Ellen Willis in Mademoiselle Magazine, November, 1969.
**Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female
by Frances M. Beal, written in late 1969 as a paper for the SNCC Black Women’s Liberation Committee (Student National Coordinating Committee). Reprinted in numerous places, including in the mass market anthologies The Black Woman and Sisterhood Is Powerful in 1970.
Feminism and Black Nationalism
by Myrna Hill, April 2, 1971, The Militant, New York City.
Consciousness-Raising: A Radical Weapon
by Kathie Sarachild, a speech given to in 1973 to the Stewardesses for Women’s Rights and published in Redstockings’s Feminist Revolution (1975, 1978).
**Separate to Integrate
by Barbara Leon, Redstockings’s Feminist Revolution (1975, 1978).
**Coalition Politics: Turning the Century
by Bernice Johnson Reagon, 1983, Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology, Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press.
button flyer, Redstockings, 2001.
**Beyond the Family Wage: A Women’s Liberation View of the Social Wage
by Kathie Sarachild, 2001. PDF includes the 2-page mini-article (unsigned) called “Wages for housework vs. the wage and the social wage: A strategy debate.”
You may also access a PDF of the complete Redstockings’s collection of which the above article is part here: Women’s Liberation and National Health Care: Confronting the Myth of America.
**Understanding Reproductive Justice: Transforming the Pro-Choice Movement
by Loretta Ross , 2007, in Off Our Backs, Volume 36, Number 4.
Excerpts from The Reproduction of Labor Power
by Sylvia Federici, 2008, in Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, Reproduction, and Feminist Struggle, PM Press, Oakland, CA, 2012, distributed by Autonomedia, Brooklyn, NY.
Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Criticism of “Gender”
August 12, 2013. Links for other readings are included.
Last but not least, I acknowledge this Conference’s only partly playful namesake, What Is To Be Done? by Vladimir Lenin, 1902. – recommended in Redstockings’ Feminist Revolution in 1975 & 1978, along with The Making of Black Revolutionaries by James Forman of SNCC, 1972 – for analyses of and suggestions for solving many universal organizational issues and problems in radical organizations.
Also, from the above Marxist archive, and very pertinent to our time of resurgent “global capitalism” (formerly “international capitalism”) and the skyrocketing power of the 1%, is Lenin’s pamphlet Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism, written January-June, 1916.
A Note on handing out literature:
After you have talked to someone and she is interested, you should give her some of the literature which has been written recently about women’s liberation. You will know which articles she’d probably like best. You can also suggest some books and draw her attention to movies or television programs which show clearly how women are oppressed by men. It is never absolutely necessary to hand out literature in advance, however. You may know that none of it is right for the woman you know. In that case one of the things your group will want to do is write something that appeals to other women like themselves.
– Judith Brown, How To Start A Group. Gainesville Women’s Liberation, February/March 1969.