Socialist feminists v revolutionary feminists
“We were fairly dismissive of socialist feminism but only politically, not personally, we all knew socialist feminists and I thought got on reasonably well with them, so it was a strange dichotomy. Jackie Atkins was a communist, socialist feminist lesbian, she’d argued for years in the Communist Party about women's liberation and sexuality, but she was one of the few socialist feminists who had good contacts and friendships with the women who were revolutionary feminists. She wasn’t afraid to speak out; there’s an interesting letter by Jackie in the Birmingham Women's Newsletter - ‘I feel a concerted attack by a vocal minority will occur, there are sisters who don’t want to co-exist with us, who think they are the real guardians of feminist politics, who judge other women’s feminism, who don’t create space for others, and yet, are a small minority’. It’s a good feel of how it must have been for the point of view of other women and we did get a certain amount of flack. We were fairly cocooned in our little group, which was broader than people would expect, it wasn’t just a group of committed revolutionary feminists, and we were committed to developing a different view of feminism and lesbianism”.
Contributed by: Trisha McCabe, 51