The Need for Revolutionary Feminism by Sheila Jeffreys 1977

There is a need for revolutionary feminism for two very important reasons – one is the liberal takeover of the women’s liberation movement, and the other is the grave lack of theory in the movement. Paper presented at the 1977 national Women’s Liberation Movement Conference in London by Sheila Jeffreys and re-printed in the Socialist […]


Kate Millett’s ‘Sexual Politics’: 40 years on

Kate Millett’s book Sexual Politics was pivotal for the developing second wave feminist movement. It was regarded as very important both by feminists at the time and by the media. Time magazine labelled Millett as the Mao Tse-Tung of women’s liberation, but the book is not as well known today as might be expected for […]


Prostitution, trafficking and feminism: An update on the debate

Within the academy the ‘sex work’ position, i.e. that prostitution should be understood as legitimate work, and an expression of women’s choice and agency, has become the dominant perspective. Most feminist scholars now take this point of view or show sympathy towards it. The critical approach to prostitution that was almost universal amongst feminists from […]


Double jeopardy: Women, the US military and the war in Iraq

This article argues that women in the military are in double jeopardy. They face the danger of rape from their male colleagues as well as the ordinary dangers of being killed or wounded by the enemy. They are used to send messages from one masculine military to another in their very bodies. This is particularly […]


The Need to Abolish Marriage

I have a radical lesbian feminist position on marriage which is well expressed by the US lesbian legal theorist Ruthann Robson (1992) who argues for the general abolition of marriage saying that ‘lesbian survival is not furthered by embracing the law’s rule of marriage. Our legal energy is better directed at abolishing marriage as a […]


Sex tourism: do women do it too?

This article examines a recent tendency amongst researchers of sex tourism to include women within the ranks of sex tourists in destinations such as the Caribbean and Indonesia. It argues that a careful attention to the power relations, context, meanings and effects of the behaviours of male and female tourists who engage in sexual relations […]


Why has the Big O seduced so many feminists? May 1996

“The November/December 1995 issue of Ms., cover-lined HOT UNSCRIPTED SEX, showed a close-up of an African American woman licking her lipsticked lips. Despite all the feminist work that has been done in the last quarter-century to critique and challenge the male-supremacist construction of sex, none of the four articles inside made connections to the whole […]


“Free From All Uninvited Touch of Man”: women’s campaigns around sexuality 1880 – 1914

The history of sex in the last 100 years has generally been represented as a triumphant march from Victorian prudery into the light of sexual freedom. From a feminist perspective the picture is different. During the last wave of feminism women, often represented as prudes and puritans by historians, waged a massive campaign to transform […]