BRAZEN HUSSIES: A Herstory of Radical Activism in the Women’s Libration Movement in Victoria 1970 - 1979, Jean Taylor, Dyke Books Inc, Melbourne 2009)
Brazen Hussies documents the actions, conferences, collectives, publications and demos as well as the stories of feminist activists who took an active role in the WLM in the 1970s. The book also traces the innovative shifts of consciousness and the social and legislative changes that were instigated in Victoria as radical feminists fought long and hard for Women’s Liberation. It also includes some of the actions the Aboriginal and Islander people too to challenge racism.
It’s sometimes difficult to remember just how oppressive it was for womyn in Victoria before the Women’s Liberation Movement began in 1970 to challenge the patriarchy and womyn took to the streets to make our demands heard.
‘When I became a trained therapy radiographer at Peter Mac, back in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, I was training boys who were receiving more money than I was which seemed very iniquitous.’
Radical activists in the Women’s Liberation Movement began making their presence felt world-wide and no less so than here in Victoria. After Thelma Solomon, Zelda D’Aprana and Alva Geikie chained themselves to the Arbitration Court in October 1969 they helped set up the Women’s Action Committee in March 1970. From then on there was an active WLM here in Victoria. And for good reason.
‘The Australian theatre scene has been dominated by male playwrights and it has been difficult for Australian women playwrights to have their works performed.’
Ponch Hawkes, Women’s Liberation Newsletter April 1975
As it took till October 2008 to repeal the law against abortion and the Yorta Yorta people were only allowed joint management over their own Barmah Forest in December 2008 it shows just how long it takes and how far we still have to go to truly achieve humanity and justice for everyone.
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