My friend Janet Hadley, one of the pioneering firebrands of the women’s liberation movement, has died of cancer aged 63. Newer friends might have asked: “Janet, a firebrand?”The description doesn’t quite match the meticulous freelance editor of many NGO and charity publications they knew. As Janet herself said: “For my recent work, there is little to show except a pile of worthy and weighty tomes that are four times more readable than in their original state.”But that firebrand feminist was in the one scheduled session on women at the Revolutionary festival at Essex University in 1969. A mixed crew of anarcho-situationists, Trotskyists, communists and new left non-aligned socialists listened to a woman speak about women – an unusual event in those days. There was growing unrest from some of the men present: titters, outright laughter, groans and sighs.At the end, Janet turned to face everyone, shouting: “Sisters! We must meet together as women.” Women did meet that weekend, filled with anger about what they would quickly learn to call sexism. Later, in London, the Women’s Liberation Workshop was formed. Janet was there, bringing an anti-racist perspective to the new movement. She poured time and energy into the workshop, applying her …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books