Radical Feminism
By: Molly Harrington


Radical feminism is a branch of feminist theory characterized by the idea that men are not only oppressing women, but are also their natural enemies. Radical feminists believe in revolution and uprisings against the male society in order to defeat patriarchy. This feminist theology developed in the late 1960's when the feminist movement first arose. Choosing to define themselves not as 'feminists' but 'radical women,' these revolutionaries believed that women's oppression did not only stem from simply capitalism, but from the gender itself. They rejected quite a bit of what other branches of feminism believed in, and chose to look further into the gender, sex roles, class, and race of women and how men oppress them.
The arising of radical feminism is a movement within a movement, so to speak. The overall women's movement focused more on capitalist ideals and the idea of women being forced into particular household roles. Radical feminists sought to point out that society as a whole is flawed and that is the larger issue. They questioned liberal feminists about the idea of working into a society riddled with racism, oppression and a lack of human rights.
Radical feminist groups arose out of the movement, one such group being the Redstockings. The Redstockings formed officially formed in 1969 after grouping together and protesting together. The name 'Redstockings' is derived from the idea that the color red is associated with 'revolution' and the 'bluestocking' label most often pinned to feminists in a negative fashion.
The Redstockings first began their movement protesting the Miss America pageant in 1968. They picketed outside with signs, disposed of and burned women's undergarments in trash barrels outside, and threw high heeled shoes onstage during the pageant. They released a statement detailing what their intentions were during the pageant.
"On September 7th in Atlantic City, the Annual Miss America Pageant will again crown "your ideal." But this year, reality will liberate the contest auction-block in the guise of "genyooine" de-plasticized, breathing women... male chauvinist-reactionaries on this issue had best stay away, nor are male liberals welcome in the demonstrations."

Redstockings also campaigned for free contraceptives for women, legalizing abortion and making it more readily available to the public, the power of sisterhood and the idea that women can reject their gender roles assigned to them



Daring To Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America by Alice Echols