The Feminist-as-Lesbian and a
Movement in the Making
Women’s liberation is a term that draws some people toward it and repels
others.∞ As a name for a particular moment and style of feminist protest,
women’s liberation both evokes and elides the complex array of feminist
movements that emerged in the United States and beyond in the late 1960s
and early 1970s. The name has come to stand, variously, for a radical as
opposed to liberal form of feminism, grassroots rather than centrally orga-
nized feminism, a white middle-class rather than women of color femi-
nism, a transnational postwar feminism, a nationalist and provincial form
of feminism, a hopeful and exciting feminist moment, and a depressingly
racist and essentializing feminist moment. That women’s liberation stands
for all of these things and more attests to the complexity and unsettledness
of its historical moment. It also attests to the asymmetry of power in the
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