Feminist Consciousness-Raising

Consciousness-Raising (C-R) is a tool that the Women's Liberation Movement adopted from the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, where it was called "telling it like it is." In C-R, women answer a question using examples from their personal lives, then the group uses these personal testimonies to draw conclusions about the political root of women's so-called "personal" problems.

C-R is used to:

  • Collect and analyze data (e.g. women's life experiences
  • Get to the root of sexism--figure out who benefits and who pays
  • Understand that the pain and struggles in our lives are not our individual problems and we cannot solve them on our own
  • Take action (using C-R conclusions as the basis for our theory and strategy)


Blame the Rapists and Those Who Protect Them


By Kendra Vincent

From NWL News Spring 2013

This past spring, two high school football players in Steubenville, Ohio were found guilty of raping a 16- year-old girl during a series of parties. The evidence against them included pictures and video circulated on social media sites, as well as eye-witness testimony from other teens who watched these outrageous acts, but did nothing to stop them.


SLUTS & PRUDES - What's Behind It?

photo via community.sparknotes.com 


By Amy Coenen

From NWL News Spring 2013

In April 2012, Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” because the Georgetown University law student testified before Congress about the high cost of contraception and the need for free, accessible birth control. That same spring, Gainesville women were heckled as “sluts” and “whores” when they confronted former U.S. Representative Cliff Stearns about his attacks on Planned Parenthood and contraception.  And recent news has focused on a teenage girl in Steubenville, Ohio who was sexually assaulted by members of the high school football team with much of the community blaming the rape victim for putting herself in a position to be violated.


C-R Testimony about beauty and weight

Written by an organizer in Gainesville Women's Liberation for a GWL Consciousness-Raising Study Group in 1996

Topic: Speaking and writing about my own oppression/what is my stake in the movement for change

Weight has always been a source of worry and pain for me. In elementary school I was a liittle overweight. Baby fat, I guess you'd call it, but I don't believe I was ever really medically obese. That's hard for any kid, but especially if you are a girl. I remember the pain of being picked last for teams, being made fun of by other kids, and even being made fun of by the PE teachers. My weight was a constant source of humiliation for me.


Bushes: Approval Ratings

By Kelly Mangan


There's a topic of great social and political importance that's been on my mind lately... crotches. Specifically, my crotch. More specifically, whether or not to shave my crotch.


After several months of dating and never giving much thought to my fuzzy-friend-to-the-south, I was surprised to hear another single woman I know struggling with the question of whether or not to shave her nether-region. She felt that it was expected of women, and was worried that men would find her hair repulsive.



I’m more than a Mom, a Wife and an Employee

By Candi Churchill

This is an edited version of a talk given at an event organized by Rad Dad author Tomas Moniz, June 2012 at the Civic Media Center in Gainesville, FL.
All this talk about this way or that way to shoot the baby out of the canal. Epidural or no epidural? Are you going “natural” or are you going to allow “interventions?” Sleep training? Attachment parenting? Cry it out? Breast? Bottle? Both? There are a lot of ways to have a family and raise a child and in the end, most kids are going to be loved and provided for (we hope). But what about what happens to us? There’s not a lot of talk about how hard it is to readjust to your new life.
When I had my baby, my life changed forever. Sure it changed for the better in many ways. I wouldn’t trade him for the world. My heart stretched in ways I never knew possible. I love his laugh. I love his kisses. He’s amazing. But it is extremely hard and I feel some days that I’ve lost myself. I didn’t expect that.