Archives for Jan,2015

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Jan 29

WOMEN’S LIBERATION AND MEN

My article on the presence and absence of men in the women’s liberation movement in britain in the late 1960s and 1970s has appeared in Historical Journal. It provides evidence that men were present at conferences and workshops at the start of the Movement, but were rapidly excluded, or excluded themselves. It explores the reasons for this decision, and the difficulties the ‘problem of men’ caused within the women’s movement, especially between socialist feminists, many of whom wanted to go on working with men, in certain ways and on certain conditions; and radical and revolutionary women, who did not. The ‘problem of men’, I argue, outlasted their departure from the movement in the early 1970s, and the issue remained divisive at least until the late 1970s.

I am starting a research project on the question that this example suggests to me, which is why men’s participation differed so much from what it had been in the Women’s Suffrage Movement before the First World War.

IMAGE CREDIT: ‘1969: YEAR OF THE MILITANT WOMAN?’, THE BLACK DWARF (JANUARY 1969) (DETAIL). FOR THE ORIGINS OF THIS COVER, SEE SHEILA ROWBOTHAM, PROMISE OF A DREAM: REMEMBERING THE SIXTIES (2001), PP. 210-11.

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Jan 17

ANTI-IMPERIALISM IN 1960

A chapter I have written on anti-imperialism in 1960 has just been published.  It is based on a paper I gave at a conference at the University of East Anglia on the fiftieth anniversary of Harold Macmillan’s ‘Winds of Change’ speech to the South African Parliament.   I spoke about metropolitan (British) anti-imperialism in January 1960, and my paper  – and the chapter too – are based on four anti-imperialist texts which were all written or published during the six weeks that Macmillan was away touring Africa.

There is one from the Labour Party, one from the Movement for Colonial Freedom, one by Tony Benn reporting from the All-African People’s Conference in Tunis, and George Lamming’s The Pleasures of Exile which, I discovered, was written almost exactly across the six weeks of Macmillan’s tour of Africa.

I started the paper with the text above (written in 1963).  See if you can guess who wrote it.  The (surprising) answer is in the chapter.

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