Around 1970
1 Throughout Feeling Women’s Liberation, the term women’s liberation is de-
ployed in two ways: to designate the historical specificity of the predomi-
nantly white, middle-class radical feminist movement of the late 1960s
through the early 1970s and as an echo of the way in which it became the
magical phrase through which the ideas and images of the women’s move-
ment and feminism were conjured in general during the late 1960s and early
1970s. I use second wave less as a descriptive term for the myriad feminist
movements of the era, including the black and Chicana feminist movements
that emerged at the same time as the women’s liberation movement, than as
a placeholder for a term that would better invoke the highly contested, di-
verse, and energetic explosion of feminisms during this time.
2 For an analysis of the increased media coverage of the women’s movement
from the late 1960s through 1970, see Howell, Reflections of Ourselves. A
search on the New York Times database for articles with the term women’s lib-
eration found 3 articles in 1968, 23 in 1969, and 329 in 1970, with the figures
for post-1970 tapering off from 288 in 1971 to 125 in 1974. Conversely, a
search for articles with the term feminists peaked in 1974 with 147, compared
to 58 in 1970 and less in the last two years of the 1960s. I think that the op-
posite trajectories of these two terms is indicative of the way in which the
women’s liberation movement became a singular media event of feminism in
3 See Brownmiller, In Our Time, 152, 136–66. See also Davis, Moving the Moun-
tain, 106–20; Rosen, The World Split Open, 296–308.
4 See Davis, Moving the Mountain, 121–29.
5 The New York Times covered the era exhaustively throughout 1970 and had
front-page coverage of the Strike for Equality. The zap action by the Lav-
ender Menace and the sit-in at the Ladies’ Home Journal also received exten-
sive coverage by the Times and other national news venues—something I
analyze in detail in chapter 1.
6 Echols ends chapter five of Daring to Be Bad, ‘‘The Eruption of Difference,’’
with these words: ‘‘In some respects, the emergence of lesbian-feminism
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