Daring to Hope

A personal history of the politics of the 1970s
A meeting of the Socialist History Society with historian Sheila Rowbotham

The SHS is pleased to announce that our first talk of 2022 was with historian Sheila Rowbotham who discussed her involvement in the women’s liberation movement, left-wing politics and the “alternative” culture of the 1970s.

Her talk covered episodes examined in her recently published memoir, Daring to Hope, such as the first Women’s Liberation Conference at Ruskin College, in 1970, which she helped to initiate, her campaigning to help unionise night cleaners, for childcare and abortion rights.

During this decade, Sheila Rowbotham was influential in the development of socialist feminist ideas producing a series of landmark socialist-feminist books, such as Women, Resistance and Revolution, Woman’s Consciousness, Man’s World and Hidden from History: 300 years of Women’s Oppression and the Fight Against It. Sheila also co-authored Beyond the Fragments: Feminism and the Making of Socialism, with Lynne Segal and Hilary Wainwright.

In Daring to Hope Rowbotham demonstrates her profound awareness that the “personal is political” as she reflects on grassroots activism, communal living, collective organisation and the interconnections between personal liberation and wider political struggles.