At the beginning of March, in the run up to the International Women's Strike, Left Voicespoke with Nancy Fraser — author of Fortunes of Feminismand Henry A. & Louise Loeb Professor of Political & Social Science at The New School — about the motivations behind the strike, and the call for a "Feminism of the 99%" that Fraser co-wrote with other organizers (including Angela Davis, Barbara Ransby, Cinzia Arruzza, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Linda Martín Alcoff, Rasmea Yousef Odeh and Tithi Bhattacharya).
"What is 'Women's Day'? Is it really necessary?" Alexandra Kollontai asked readers of the Russian journal Pravda a centenary ago. "On Women's Day," she wrote, "the organised demonstrate against their lack of rights."
Sheila Rowbotham's Rebel Crossings tells the transatlantic story of six radical pioneers at the turn of the twentieth century. Radicalised by the rise of socialism, Helena Born, Miriam Daniell, Gertrude Dix, Robert Nicol and William Bailie cross the Atlantic dreaming of liberty and equality. All six are part of a wider historical search for self-fulfillment and an alternative to a cruelly competitive capitalism.
Rebel Crossingsoffers fascinating perspectives on the historical interaction of feminism, socialism, and anarchism and on the incipient consciousness of a new sense of self, so vital for women seeking emancipation.
- The first Women's Liberation Movement march in London, March 6th, 1971
Sheila Rowbotham is "one of Britain's most important, if unshowy, feminist thinkers, and a key figure of the second-wave" — Melissa Benn, Guardian.
She was among the organisers of the landmark, first National Women's Liberation Conference, in 1970, which led to the announcement of the four still hugely relevant demands of the movement: equal pay; equal education and opportunity; 24-hour nurseries; free contraception and abortion on demand. Rowbotham says she imagined this as the start of "an entirely new kind of politics — no leaders, no ego trips, no more sectarian disputes. We were going to be concerned with working-class women's lives — not just the privileged — and it was going to be about bread and roses." The reality was "in some ways much more than we imagined, and, in some ways, very much less."