CALL FOR A SPRING CONFERENCE
Marilyn Salzman Webb, Washington, D.C.
Radical women did not come to Washington to participate in a Jeanette
Rankin Brigade which we all knew was going to be moderate, ineffectual
end absurd. We came to talk to each other.
We came to see if we could build a movement of women capable of preventing
such fiascos as the Brigade portended from reoccurring. We came to see
if we could form an organization with which radical women could identify
and a program which would be effective.
We came because we, for the most part, are women who have been involved
in the Movement for years and share its ideals that no people can be free,
and that no social change can come, until all people are free. We wanted
to organize for our own equality within this broader because we see ourselves
colonized in the same way Fanon has described the Algerians. Our enemy
is not men, but an oppressive system that pits group against group, denying
each self -control and self-confidence.
We came because we, as radical political people, have learned from the
a black movement here and the women of Vietnam that the only way we can
be a force is to build our own movement. We must develop ourselves personally,
politically, and as a power base if we are to be respected. We met for
two days and developed a program for the next few months. We hope to hold
at least four regional organizational conferences of radical women this
Spring to begin to develop programs and analysis. The conferences should
set up by each region so that they reflect the interest of each region,
but we would hope to share working papers and perhaps some speakers.
Two areas, however, seem to be common to all concerns. First, we must
develop a dialog about the life-styles we want to lead in the future barriers
to leading them and how to eliminate these barriers.
Second, we need to identify those areas where it is relevant, and crucial,
to say "no" to the system. Some particular issues connected
with this are: women's roles (Continued on page 5).
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women in the Movement have long been aware of their secondery status within
and without the movement it is only recently that they have begun to do
something about it. Since a small group of women began their first searching
meetings last fall the movement for women's liberation has grown to a
nationwide network of women who recognize the interdependence of radical
change and women's liberation.
Our political awareness of these twin, concerns has developed as we sought
to apply the principles of justice, equality, mutual respect and dignity
which we learned from the movement to the lives we lived as part of the
movement only to come up against the solid wall of male chauvinism.
It is time that Movement men realized they cannot speak the languages
of freedom while treating women in the same dehumanizing manner as their
establishment peers. It is time Movement women realized this is a social
problem of national significance not at all confined to our struggle for
personal liberation within the Movement and that, as such, must be approached
The time has come for us to take the initiative in organizing ourselves
for our own liberation, and in organizing all women, around issues which.
directly affect their lives, to see the need for fundamental social change.
As women radicals we are involved with politically issues because we realize
that we cannot be free until all people are free. But as radical women
we are not interested in forming a women's auxilliary to the Movement.
Our interest is in thoroughly integrating that movement particularly its
leadership and policymaking positions. To this end we feel it is necessary
to create women's groups to organize other women into the Movement and
to organize ourselves to
While we are aware that men are not free either, we, as women, have special
problems, within and without the Movement , which we must talk about among
ourselves. Only women can define what it to be a woman in a liberated
society end we cannot allow others, by our inaction, to do this for us.
It is up to us to meet the challenge to define, and organize, ourselves.--Joreen