Reader Testimonies

Our reader testimonies are fundamental to our project. They record the experiences of real readers of feminist magazines. If you’d like us to include your story in our archive, check this page to find out how.

Lin talks here about her involvement with a radical bookshop in Swansea in the 1970s called Revolt which was where she first encountered feminist magazines. She remembers attending Women’s Liberation conferences and talks about sexuality and political lesbianism, women’s health, self publishing and distribution and the importance of support networks.

In the second part of Lin’s testimony she talks about her working class upbringing, her grammar school education and experiences of going to university. She talks about women’s hidden histories, class and the joufulness of solidarity.

In the first part of her testimony Helen talks about her introduction to Spare Rib magazine in the early 1970’s. She discusses issues around women’s health and in particular, mental health.

In the second part of her testimony, Helen talks about her mother’s experiences as a young woman, about feeling like part of the wider Women’s Movement through Spare Rib magazine and activism in the early 1980s at the Women Against Violence Against Women conference.

Joanne talks about how Spare Rib magazine fitted into a broad spectrum of cultural influences growing up in the late 1970’s in Manchester.

Joanne talks talks about becoming politically active, teaching Women’s Studies in Adult Education, the importance of Spare Rib in supporting her developing political identity and how much she loved her Spare Rib Diary.

Joanne talks about why she stopped reading feminist magazines and the importance of popular music and bands to the development of her personal feminism.

Sue talks about moving from South Wales to Newcastle upon Tyne in the late 1970s, her first exposure to the magazine Spare Rib, volunteering, student activism, Rock Against Racism, the Reclaim the Night movement, social justice, women’s groups and sexual equality and building communities.

Sue talks about the excitement of learning and understanding international issues and women’s universal experience and how reading magazines like Spare Rib and OutWrite helped her to develop a “feminist lens” to view conventional media through. She also talks about different feminisms, Lesbian and Gay activism and the the magazines’ classified adverts section.

Sue talks about how feminism helped to forge links across different groups and sections of society, about the power of collective experience in the 1980s and 90s and how it differs from today, and the rise of Lesbian Feminism.

Victoria talks about Ms. magazine, 1970s, USA, Equal Rights Amendment, women’s roles.

Laura talks about Spare Rib, 1970s, sense of community, The Guardian, women’s groups.

Peter talks about Spare Rib, 1980s, counter culture, Greenham Common, humour, inclusivity, Shocking Pink, Trouble & Strife

Tell us your story?…

If you would like us to include your story in our archive,
check out this page to find out how to get involved…