LEFTIES: ANGRY WIMMIN Originally aired Wednesday 15 February 2006 58:33 Minutes Brief Summary: The rise and fall of an extreme strain of feminism, that called on women to become 'political lesbians'. Movie Webpage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/features/lefties2.shtml Full Summary: n the late 1970s in Leeds, a group of women called the Revolutionary Feminists splintered away from mainstream feminism. Unlike the socialists, who pictured a revolution where the ruling class and the working class would be on opposite sides, Revolutionary Feminists declared war on men. Their leading activist was academic Sheila Jeffreys. The Revolutionary Feminists' first move was to publish an inflammatory document called 'Political Lesbianism - the Case Against Heterosexuality'. It stated that in order to achieve liberation, women should stop having sexual relations with men. They rejected beauty practices, turning their backs on high-heeled shoes, make-up and uncomfortable clothes. They strove to eliminate men from their language, inventing new ways to spell 'wimmin'. They espoused separatism as a way of life and some even abandoned their sons. The Revs were deeply affected by the Yorkshire Ripper, who for them represented the threat of male violence. In response, they set up WAVAW - Women Against Violence Against Women - and instigated 'Reclaim the Night' marches, campaigning vociferously against pornography. An extremist wing of WAVAW calling itself 'Angry Women' even went as far as burning down sex shops. In the early 1980s, feminism entered a second phase and increasingly turned inwards on itself. As black, working-class and disabled women focused on their differences, and the creation of the GLC's women's committee incorporated females into mainstream government, the Revolutionary Feminists' simplistic men-versus-women analysis began to lose its currency.
Feb 26, 2006, 08:02:46
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