Sex, love and friendship

Throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, many women began to demand greater sexual freedom and control over their own bodies. After centuries of expected chastity and modesty, the ‘sexual revolution’ and availability of the pill allowed some women to explore their sexuality without fear of pregnancy. But sexual liberation and women’s liberation were not necessarily the same. Discover how sex, sexuality, love and justice related to the Women’s Liberation Movement.

Sex, love, friendship and the Women's Liberation Movement

Sex, love, friendship and the Women’s Liberation Movement

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

Traditionally societies placed great emphasis on the values of chastity and modesty for women but that started to change in the late 20th century. Discover the variety of factors in the 1960s and 70s that led greater sexual freedom for some women and to feminist explorations of sex, sexuality, love and justice.

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Sexual pleasure, sexual rights and the Women's Liberation Movement

Sexual pleasure, sexual rights

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

The 1960s and 70s brought greater sexual freedom and choice for many women. Find out how the Women’s Liberation Movement allowed women to talk openly about sex in consciousness-raising groups and how gay politics overlapped with feminist politics.

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Friendships, relationships and the Women's Liberation Movement

Friendships and relationships

Article by:
Sisterhood and After Research Team

The Women’s Liberation Movement was to a large extent formed from existing friendship or neighbourhood groups coming together. Discover the many strong friendships that changed lives and have lasted until the present day.

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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?