Collection Essays

Spare Rib Reader: 100 Issues of Women’s Liberation

Spare Rib Reader: 100
Issues of Women’s Liberation
Marsha Rowe (ed)Penguin Books1982

A collection of Spare Rib articles from 1972-1982.

Something like sixty women have worked on the Spare Rib collective since its first issue ten years ago, and many hundreds more have written, drawn, photographed, designed and helped out in the office. In these ten years, the way the magazine looks and the issues it covers have changed in as many ways as the women who make it, on and off the collective, have changed. And with another 100 issues it will be different again. But we think whichever women come together to bring our Spare Rib, and whatever the limitations of the vision we’ve all shared, they will still be saying, this magazine is for women, directed towards changing all our lives.

Spare Rib Collective, November 1981

Table of Contents

1. Image
A Weight off My Heard / Karen Durbin
Marilyn Monroe / Margaret Walters
Images of Janis Joplin / Margaret Walters
Being Jewish: Anti-Semitism and Jewish Women / Rozsika Parker
What Katy Didn’t Do / Camilla Nightingale
Round in a Flat World / Tessa Weare
Why Not Slip into Something a Little More Comfortable? / Lisa Tickner
Alice Plinth / Jo Nesbitt
You Don’t Know What is Happening Do You, Mr Jones? / Laura Mulvey
Censored / Rozsika Parker
Tooth & Nail
A Day in the Life of … Janice
Disabled Women / Anna Briggs interviews Muriel
Speaking Out on Age / Pauline Long
Put a Her in Your Hertz / Anna Coote
“What Offends One of Us Won’t Offend the Next Chap”: The Advertising Standards Authority’s Line on Sexism / Jill Nicholls and Pat Moan
Suffrage Posters / Paula Harper

2. Family
Poem / Olive Schreiner
Lucy / Interviewed by her daughter Liz
Thursday, 21 August / Ann talks to Lynn Pearson
Caring for the Disabled / Anna Briggs
Living with a Difference: Cypriot Stories / Ayse, Maria and Zeynep
Devil Children / Margaret Walters
Out of the Closet into the Courts / Eleanor Stephens
“I Keep Diffing Our Relationship Up” / Sue Cox
Life on Social Security / Jane Hutt and Mary Giles talked to “Mary”

3. Childcare
Changing Childcare / Marsha Rowe
Not So Much a Day Nursery / Dartmouth Park Hill, London
A Playgroup Called Freedom / Women from Armagh
South Oxford Nursery Plays On / Oxford City Nursery Campaign, Newshort
New Creche / Angela Phillips
Editorial / Spare Rib Collective

4. Housework
History of the Housewife / Catherine Hall
Memories of My Mother-in-Law / Merlin Clarke
Daffodils, Cards – and Wages / Jill Nicholls
“Our Food Co-op Knows the Best Place” / Alison Fell and Jill Nicholls
His and Her Housework / Wendy Whitfield

5. Work
General Maid / Minnie Cowley
Against the “Gentlemen of Justice”: Portuguese Cleaners Unite / News Feature
Yorkshire Fisherwomen / Peter Frank
Sweatshop at Home / Chris Poulter
Waitress du Jour / Joyce Betries
“Brook Street Bureau Got Big By…” / Sally Jones
Are You a Typewriter? / Clare Cherrington
I Am Your Automatic Worker / Jane Barker
Danger: Women’s Work / Women and Work Hazards Group
I’m Gonna be an Electrical Engineer / Margaret Charman interviewed by Angela Phillips
“So Long as It’s Red and Going Where They’re Going They’ll Get On” / Doris Pitts interviewed by Jill Nicholls
Probation Officer / Jean McCringle
“Being a Woman Doctor” / Barbara Jacobs
Nursing and Racism / Amrit Wilson
What Happened at Heywood / Marsha Rowe
Grunwick Women / Beatrix Campbell and Valerie Charlton
The Grunwick Strike is now officially over… / Newshort
Save the Green / Bethnal Green Hospital workers interviewed by Amanda Sebestyen
“It’s Really Stirred up the Factory”: Trico Women Win / Jill Nicholls
Lesbians Ignite / Anny Brackx
“We’re Not Criminals”: Prostitutes Organize / Victoria Green
Women Farmers in Zambia / Barbara Rogers

6. Education
Femninist Subversion / Margaret Edney
Altwood Comprehensive / Newshort
Schoolgirls up against Sexism / Debra Peart and Jenny Smith
It’s Trousers Time! / Susan Hemmings
Ten Ways to Counter Sexism in a Junior School / Sally Shave
Acting it Out / Jasmine, Diane, Cynthia, Linda, Dawn
No More School Meals / Jill Nicholls
Diary of a Feminist Teacher / Kate Elliott
Working with Girls / Val Carpenter
Sex with your Tutor? It’s His Fringe Benefit / Deborah Cameron

7. The Arts
Underground Women / Griselda Pollock
Lucy Lippard on American Women’s Conceptual Art Exhibition, London / Reviewed by Rozsika Parker
Dedicated to the Unknown Artist / Susan Hiller interviewed by Rozsika Parker
Portrait of the Artist as Housewife / Rozsika Parker
The Lost Theatre / Jules Holledge
The Death of Buzz Goodbody / Michèle Roberts and Alison Fell
Anna Wickham and Her Poetry / Naomi Lewis
Positive Discrimination / Michelene Wandor
Tales I Tell My Mother / Reviewed by Katherine Gieve
Liverpool Worker Writers: War of Words / Olive, Maria and Helen talk to Eileen Fairweather
Clapperclaw / Reviewed by Jill Nicholls
Terri Quaye / Interviewed by Marion Fudger
Love Music Hate Sexism / Lucy Toothpaste
Gynaecocratia: 8 January, Midwife’s Day, Greece / Meriel Skinner

8. Sexuality
Going All the Way / Sara Rance
Don’t Get Too Near the Big Chakra / Anne Severson
“Readers” Poems’ / Margaret S. Chalmers
The Moon within Tour Reach / Eleanor Stephens
How Did We Get This Way? / Sue Cartledge and Susan Hemmings
Physical Relationships and the Disabled Woman / Julie Mimmack
The Feelings behind the Slogans / Eileen Fairweather
If the Cap Fits / Rozsika Parker

9. Health
Blood Money / Amanda Sebestyen
“Most of Us Had Three of Four” / Agnes Marchant and her daughter Susan interviewed by Rozsika Parker
Visit to an Italian Health Centre / Marie Arnold
New Zealand Clinic Bombed / Newshort
Puerto Rico: 35 percent of Women of Childbearing Age Sterilized / Lynn di Pietro
Breakthrough in Male Contraception
Radical Midwives / Jenny Spinks
“My World Became the Size of the Baby” / Catherine Ballard and Hilary Hackett
Agoraphobia / Hilary Wilce
Liz: Alcoholics Anonymous / Interviewed by Marsha Rowe
Stretched to Breaking Point / Rozsika Parker, Jane Wilson and Alison Fell
With a Little Help from Ourselves / Carol Morrell
opening Myself to Change / Frances Seton
How to Run a Health Course / Brent Women’s Centre
“To Lose a Breast Seemed More Terrible than Dying” / Lin Layram
My Mother Died Two Years Ago / Norma Pitfield
Joan Scott: Living Her Dying / Ann Scott

10. Violence
Leeds: Curfew on Men / Eileen Fairweather
“He’s Got to Show Her Who’s Boss” / National Women’s Aid Federation
Three Battered Women Face the Future / Stephanie Markman
Pornography: Between the Devil and the True Blue Whitehouse / Ruth Wallsgrove
Talking with an Egyptian Feminist: Nawal el Saadawi / Jill Nicholls
Action on Clitoridectomy / Jill Nicholls
How Can We Support Our Sisters? / Editorial
To School with Fear / Polly Talked to Tom Cottle
“They’re Killing Us in Here” / Perminder Dhillon
Nuclear Weapons: Stay Home and Die / Lucy Whitman
“The Primary Purpose is to Help Raped Women Regain Their Strength as Individuals”: Crisis Centre Opens / Victoria Green
Defending Ourselves / Alison Fell, Victoria Freen and Rozsika Parker

11. State
Netherley United / Maria O’Reilly
Dependence and a New Political Consciousness / Katherine Gieve
Mice in Manchester / Rose Ades and Eleanor Stephens
In on the Act / Jill Nicholls and Ruth Wallsgrove
Pay Figures Fall / Jill Nicholls
All our worst nightmares… / Newshort Editorial, Jill Nicholls
Harassment at Heathrow / Jill Nicholls, Angela Phillips and Ruth Wallsgrove
Immigration Tests in Britain / Jill Nicholls, Angela Phillips and Ruth Wallsgrove
One Wins, One Loses / Pat Fitzsimons and Kath McKay
Inside / Maureen Reynolds interviewed by Rozsika Parker
Living with the Army in Your Front Garden / Mary McKay
Women in Chile: A Year after the Coup / Tracy Ulltveit-Moe
Dora Tamana / Rosalynde Ainslie
Women against the Shahs / Ruth Wallsgrove and Susan Hemmings
Iran: Women for Freedom / Ruth Wallsgrove
United Nations Notices Women / Jill Nicholls

12. Women’s Liberation Movement
Adam’s Knobby / Sheila Rowbotham
“A Serious Proposal to the Ladies” / Sheila Rowbotham
Women against the Demon Drink / Amanda Sebestyen
Jessie / Edited by Suzie Fleming and Gloden Dallas
Nine Years Together / Belsize Lane Women’s Group
Womanweb / Alison Fell
Women Together: Edinburgh Sixth National Women’s Liberation Conference / Northern Women’s Liberation Rock Band
Going Back to the Beginning / Jill Nicholls
Women’s Liberation 1977 / News Round-Up
Consciousness Raising: Back to Basics / Gill Philpott describes her experience
Why Socialist Feminism? Gatherings in Paris and Amsterdam / Michael Ann Mullen
Germany: Reclaiming the Night / News Feature
Black Women Together / Organization of Women of Afro-Caribbean and Asian Descent
We Will Walk without Fear: 12 November / News Round-Up
Finding Each Other at School / Naomi, Petra, Jane, Julie, Rachel, Kate, Jane, Lucy, Nicole
“We Are All Criminals”: Women’s Liberation in Spain / Anita Bennett and Jill Nicholls
Decades: Talking across the Century / Gail Lewis, and Hazel Hunkins Hallinan talking with Carole Spedding, and Amanda Sebestyen

Afterword by the Spare Rib Collective