An unprecedented number of Lesbian enterprises existed in Northampton in 1976-77, both old ones and new, that evolved out of the 1975-76 Separatist struggles. What particularly made this creative flowering different was that Lesbians were, for the first and only time, able to control, rent, and/or buy multiple spaces within downtown Northampton. This was madeContinue reading The Peak of Lesbian Enterprise
The printed word was essential to the spread of radical ideas and information in the 1970s, both the means to reproduce pages and to circulate the resulting papers. Any information that challenged the dominant narrative was simply not available in the mainstream newspapers. It wasn’t broadcast on radio or TV, and was not available atContinue reading The Printed Word
One night in 1974, Adrienne Rich and Robin Morgan slept over at my house. They stayed in room #9, rented in the name of Käthe Kollwitz by five of us lesbians, at the 66 Green Street rooming house in Northampton. For a year that room on the third floor functioned as a common space andContinue reading Gracious Guests at Green St.
The Valley Women’s Center was at 200 Main Street in Northampton. In 1974 the Center reorganized itself along socialist feminist lines into a union: Valley Women’s Union (VWU). When a coordinating board was formed to represent the various enterprises and action groups* comprising the VWU, Lesbians asked for and were given an at-large seat. WhileContinue reading Beginning to Create Lesbian Space 1974-75
Detractors would have had women believe that the early second wave feminists were all lesbians*. Yet in those early years lesbians who were in the Movement in the Valley were largely invisible and uncounted. Some of them have told me that there were more lesbians contributing than have been given credit. I was oneContinue reading Lesbians in the Valley Women’s Movement: 1970-1973