Hierarchy of ‘right-on-ness’
“The main place we all came together and had our big rows, where things went a bit hairy, were at the Women's Liberation Day Conferences. The heterosexual women in particular felt criticised for being with men and they thought that we thought that we were much better feminists than them and much more right on. Meanwhile other lesbians, who didn’t agree with us politically, also felt that we looked down on them and thought that we thought they weren’t as good as us. I can see why that happened, we didn’t have any contradictions in our lives or any guilt, we didn’t have to explain anything. It was like, years before (around 1977) I went to the old Gay Community Centre, and there was a discussion about setting up a Rape Crisis Centre, and one woman said, ‘If you have relationships with men that you value, don’t get involved in this’ which decided me not to get involved at the time, and I think later on it was just easier, you didn’t have those contradictions. I know how pointless it is to get into that competition about who is more right on. It just poisoned things, and although I don’t think we thought that way it was very much a feature of how things were at the time. You couldn’t get more bloody right on than we were, you’re in an easy position, the nastiness and falling out, the personal pain, it’s not worth that, we were all very good at doing more damage to ourselves than the wider world could do, it’s that realisation, and recognising that you don’t need to have that much in common, what you need to have is that shared commonality that isn’t just about sexuality”.
Contributed by: Trisha McCabe, 51