Changing cultures and the arts

Like the women’s suffrage movement in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, feminism in the 1960s, 70s and 80s placed a vital emphasis on cultural battles. Feminists set up theatre companies, film groups, artist collectives and publishing houses that supported campaigns, attempted to change ‘hearts and minds’, and questioned and expanded the political culture of the time. Discover the impact of the WLM in literature, art and popular culture by exploring the themes below.

Culture, art and the Women's Liberation Movement

Changing cultures and the arts

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

Feminists of the Women’s Liberation Movement set up theatre companies, film groups, artist collectives and publishing houses that supported campaigns and questioned political culture. Discover the ways in which women’s liberation created change through the power of opinions and ideas.

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Literature and the Women's Liberation Movement

Feminist literature

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

The Women’s Liberation Movement both rediscovered and encouraged new female writers. They also took over the means of production by setting up feminist printing houses such as Virago Press. Discover the authors, themes and techniques of 1970s feminism.

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Visual arts and the Women's Liberation Movement

Feminist visual arts

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

The Women’s Liberation Movement used posters, slogans, film, painting and photography to propagate their ideas. But what is feminist art? Find out more about the artists, mediums and theory of 1970s feminism.

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Popular culture and the Women's Liberation Movement

Women in popular culture

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

Feminists in the Women’s Liberation Movement set out to tackle prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination in popular culture. How did they affect a change in the ways women were represented?

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Further themes

Family and children

Discover how the Women’s Liberation Movement challenged attitudes towards childcare, marriage, partnership and domestic work.

Bodies, minds and spirits

Explore the ways in which the Women’s Liberation Movement sought to change attitudes towards women’s bodies and minds.

Sex, love and friendship

No justice without love. No love without justice. How did sex, sexuality, love and justice relate to the Women’s Liberation Movement?

Race, place and nation

How did the feminism of the Women’s Liberation Movement overlap with campaigns against racism, militarism and nuclear weapons?

Education

How were girls taught and brought up before women’s liberation? Find out how activism by teachers, students, writers and publishers led to changes in teaching, sex education and academia.

Equality and work

Find out how the Women’s Liberation Movement fought for equal pay, access to training, equality in religious institutions, and recognition of work carried out by women.

Activism

Learn about the many forms of activism used by the Women’s Liberation Movement, from consciousness-raising to campaigns and protests.

Politics and legislation

How did WLM campaigns lead to more equal political representation and legislation changes that have fundamentally altered women’s lives?

Changing cultures and the arts

How were literature, art, photography, performance, animation, music, theatre, film and sport changed by feminism?

Who we were, who we are

What is a feminist, why is feminism often controversial and how have men responded to Women’s Liberation?