Australian Left Review

Abstract

It is now well over a decade since the breaking of the second wave of women's liberation. A serious look at the movement's history, its achievements and its failures is long overdue, especially given the very different social and economic climate of the 1980s compared to the time of the movement's rebirth in the late 1960s. Anna Coote and Beatrix Campbell's history of the British women's liberation movement is not written from the point of view of objective observers, but as a contribution from two very involved and committed participants who, like so many of us were in on those first consciousness raising groups, those first explorations of the power of female solidarity and the discovery of the political nature of personal life. The revolutionary implications of the notion that our frustrating and oppressive relationships, our isolation and anger were not the result of our individual inadequacies but a reflection of the society in which we lived c a n n o t be underestimated. It is unfortunate that the movement has lost some of that excitement, that driving forward as the circle of women changing their lives widened and grew, as our understanding of ourselves and each other increased and the movement looked outwards to changing the consciousness of women "out there" — in the suburbs and the workplaces.

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