Italian Feminism In The Seventies: a history To Be Written

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Italian Feminism In The Seventies: A History To Be Written

(by Elda Guerra)
If we make an overview of women’s studies or gender history, there is no doubt that in the Italian case the feminism of the Seventies is not yet a consolidated field of research. I have the feeling that we have not gone so much ahead from that situation, as clearly emerges from the “Memoria” editorial of 1987, introducing the monographic issue of the magazine, under the heading “The feminist movement in the Seventies”. This issue was regarded as the start of a research work, given the full awareness of the impact of the oral tradition – the movement’s main feature - also on the writing of its history itself. As a consequence the time had come “to go beyond the mere oral transmission – however precious it might have been – among women who communicate by exchanging facts and events directly known or experienced by themselves, towards a first and fragmentary attempt of providing a written history of the feminist movement, thus making it more accessible to new generations and to those who have not personally lived this experience.” (“Memoria”,1987, p.3)

In particular, we have not gone that far in answering the most outstanding methodological and interpretative questions that had arisen: what is the method to be applied for this historical reconstruction? Who were feminists from a social, cultural and generational point of view? Was the focus on political practice the main feature characterising Italian feminism – also in the sense of a separatist choice that continued to be faced with the more general political scene - ? What were the obstacles and thresholds from this point of view? What are the threads that have gone missing and that can be reknotted between the early feminism and its following developments, also with reference to the inseparable link between sexuality and thinking?

Further questions emerged over the years: what form has feminism taken up with the passing of decades, given the accelerated changes occurring in the historical contexts? How has it acted on these changes? What has our role been? What about results and failures?

These are the questions that make the object of another workshop within this conference on which I hope we can go on discussing “crossing the borders of the disciplines and institutions”.

I do not mean by this observation that no attempts of historical reconstruction and narration have been made. Indeed during a short period between the Eighties and the early Nineties several attempts were made (Calabrò,Grasso,1985; Ergas, 1986; Libreria delle donne di Milano, 1987; “Memoria , 1987; Centro Documentazione donne, 1990; Bono, Kemp, 1991; Passerini, 1991; Zumaglino, 1996;).

Successively, apart from a few useful and interesting examples of documentary work or contributions on a few specific aspects, research has not yet led to any visible outcomes (Baeri, Buttafuoco, 1997; Di Cori, 1998; Lussana, 1998). In particular, the debate to try and answer the previously mentioned questions was discontinued – if it had ever been open up indeed -.

It is not easy to explain the underlying reasons. They are probably linked to the difficulties encountered by that generation – or better generations - to come to terms with the recent feminist history, as if it were a sort of inflammable or extremely heavy material, which was too sensitive to be handled, on one hand, or if, on the other hand, no suitable narrative language resources were available to faithfully transfer the meaning of that experience.

It seems to me a different kind of difficulty because – as I will try and explain later on – the history of feminism is different from the more general history concerning the whole turning point of the Seventies. A difficulty linked to the implosion of the ’68 utopias in the dramatic emergence from the long Italian social and political crisis, that marked the end of the decade as well as the following years.

A difficulty, which also indirectly affects younger female researchers.

They might, of course, be willing to take the distance from such a cumbersome legacy, which seems to belong to a closed past, but even if they wanted, it becomes difficult to find their way in this still wild land, tracing back all the complex paths, without running the risk of oversimplifying or of being overwhelmed by such a complexity.

Hence, in the light of this background, and being unable to go further beyond, I will confine myself to a few remarks on three useful aspects – at least I hope – to stimulate a debate in this forum: the beginnings and the relationship with ’68; forms and changes; continuity and discontinuity in the political memory between generations.
1. The beginnings and the relationship with ’68

The start of the decade coincides with the onset of recent Italian feminism in the public arena. The first documents, writings and manifestos ensuing from the analysis and discussion within purely women’s groups date from 1970.

This onset occurred in a context marked by a twofold process: on one hand, a sort of reduction of the ’68 movement into the most closed and rigid forms of the new left groups; on the other hand, the start-up of a molecular process, which is still to be investigated, the spin-off of a core of ideas, libertarian and egalitarian projects and aspirations, that had been deeply rooted in different places of political and social practice. I am referring to the anti-authoritarian movements concerning the organisation of school, health and justice or to the cycle of struggles that occurred in factories and in other working places.

This reference allows me to introduce a very significant aspect of Italian feminism: the dislocation of the separatist movement, in all its full significance, from the new left-wing groups to the original experiences of union feminism throughout the whole decade and in different situations.

If, therefore, “a beginning” can be clearly identified – in the sense of something unprecedented that comes about – then I also think that it is possible to talk about many beginnings, both in the sense of a multiplicity – rather than univocity - of pathways and of a time dislocation, thus leading to different points in time giving rise or starting off new different experiences.

This implies an interpretation aimed at seizing the multifaceted aspect of movement, taking into account the whole plurality of experiences, theories and practices, without in so doing levelling out specific settings or points of reference for the sake of generalisation.

From this point of view, I find it useful to quote Luisa Passerini’s words, according to whom the feminism of the 60’s/70’s can be interpreted as a “ movement of research and assertion of feminine subjectivity” by means of a choice that leads women “to relate towards one another as subjects without any male mediation”. (Passerini, 1991, p.161).

Hence, the origins of Italian feminism earlier during that decade were of a different nature, some of them linked to the experiences made by young women within the students’ movement, others closely related to the implementation of Marxist theories – that many of them believed in – on women’s material conditions, others still deeply grafted in independent thinking and elaboration processes, some of which very close to the critical theories of culture or psychoanalysis. At the same time, the presence of a strong movement on the international scene (in particular, during this period, on the US scene), travelling, the exchange of writings, of personal contacts, all this contributed to the development of an awareness raising process, to the elaboration of analyses and to writing down the experiences that had intensely been lived.

The birth of different groups and collectives in several Italian cities dates from the period between the end of 1969 and ’71. A few of them were the University of Trento groups – i.e. “Cerchio spezzato”, as against the common students’ movement’s utopia of revolutionary change -, whose most famous document read: “There is no revolution without women’s liberation, there is no women’s liberation without revolution”, thus matching women’s and black people’s struggles; “Lotta Femminista”, which put women’s position’s analysis at the centre of the capitalist system; ”Anabasi”, which was the result of an encounter between her founder with the US feminist movement and which in 1972 published “Donne è bello” (“Being a woman is beautiful”) an essential collection of – mostly American, but also French and Italian - texts about the birth of neofeminism, and finally “Rivolta femminile”.

I have purposely left “Rivolta” as the last example, probably being the first one, among all the other examples that have been previously mentioned. Its founder, Carla Lonzi, and the Manifesto, in the first place, are fundamental texts for Italian feminism, even from a more long-term historical perspective (Lonzi, 1974).

It was the first group that practised and theorised “self-awareness” in philosophical and political terms, as an original declination, visible in the transformation of the word itself, of the experience both in the United States of small awareness-raising groups.

Autocoscienza” (self-awareness) means at the same time the awareness-raising process and the self-awareness process of the subject in an inseparable union between word and body, thinking and sexuality. The radical dissociation from the male universe, the equally radical criticism vis-à-vis a culture and a history that did not take into account the female position, the need to establish meaningful relations between women, the assertion of difference and otherness between sexes: “women are others as against men. Men are others as against women. Equal opportunities become an ideological attempt to subdue women at a higher level”, all these factors are the most significant aspects and, to a large extent, anticipate Rivolta’s Manifesto (Boccia, 1990).

Here, the common thread can be identified that is bound to cross the following history in the very difficult pursuit of women’s own “meaning of life”, in spite of many contradictions and conflicts.

A group as important as “Rivolta”, that was mostly made up of less young women and that was more marginalised as against the movements present in those days, immediately put the question of the relationship between feminism and ’68 at the centre of the debate.

Although I believe that these two histories show several points in common in their criticism against the traditional forms of politics, authoritarianism, social and family roles, the neutrality of knowledge, they also feature many signs of difference.

Rather than emerging from an analysis of written texts, where in many cases language similarities are self-evident, these distinctions specifically emerge from self-biographies, where the generational cohesion – in the classical sense of political generation – becomes fragmented in the gap between male and female memory.

Hence, a difference emerges in women’s perception of the various forms of politics, knowledge and sexuality, in spite of an experience shared with their “peers”. This difference in perception stirs a sense of estrangement in women, that is bound to be understood and explained by the successive feminist experience.

In other words, at the very moment when this subjectivity acquisition process takes place and the awareness is reached what appears to be «taken for granted» is the product of a social and symbolic construction,. A clear awareness also emerges showing that sexually different subjects are bearers of different histories and visions. The criticism levelled towards social roles therefore turns into criticism against the patriarchal society and goes beyond time frontiers, thus calling into question the original moot point of relations between the sexes; the equality ideal turns into a non-standardising self-research, thus providing a new insight about diversity; the relationship between the personal and the political is asserted in all its radicalism and in the creation of forms that are specifically related to the political practice, and above all to self-awareness.

Not only that. This event also shows different timings and time layers between men’s and women’s history. If it is true that feminism came about later and developed much further beyond the end of the movement that started in ’68, yet this observation somewhat remains at the surface.

Looking at different life histories, students’ involvement into the movement often appears as pre-emptive to the feminist choice. Yet, our memory evokes that moment as a sort of road-crossing and as cleavage inside the collective movement, on the one hand leading the young women of that generation towards a stronger legitimisation and to greater possibilities to express their subjectivity and, on the other hand, to an exacerbation of their contradictions.

It is as though a two-speed movement were triggered off in collective changes and existential processes, that opened up wider perspectives for women to search for their identity. It is a true acceleration as against other previous elements, such as the relationship with female models inherited from the previous generation: mothers’ generation who had passed down to their daughters independence messages, which nevertheless stopped at the threshold of the relationship with women’s own sexed corporeity and, more generally, with reference to crucial nodes – power and sexuality in the first place - that are rooted in different histories and times and are related to the extremely long history of sex and gender relations.

I can only suggest the problem recalling the words of Emma Baeri in her book “I lumi e il cerchio”. In this book she quotes many pages from her diary. One of these in particular relevant for this problem and accurately expresses the experience of a generation: “ Figlie del socialismo, ci muoviamo ancora tra rivoluzione e riflusso, eppure siamo donne, sappiamo gli inganni del progresso, sappiamo la frizione tra arcaico e contemporaneo che è in noi.” (Baeri, 1992)

2. Forms and changes

The self-awareness experience and, successively, the clear definition of difference of the subject and of the female subjectivity can be regarded as distinctive traits of Italian feminism (Bono, Kemp, 1993; Hochberg 1995).

In the early Seventies, an important role was played for at least a part of it by their relationship with the French feminists, and more specifically with the group “Politique et Psycanalise” and, later on in the mid-Seventies, in a wider and more widespread perspective, with Luce Irigaray’s works.

This distinctive trait did not express itself in an univocal way, but it gave rise to different notions and practices. In particular, during the 80’s, a lively debate was held between those who recognised themselves in a shifting at the symbolic level of difference and the others who turned towards the historical embodiment of female experience in material bodies, in the different contexts and in the specific events.

This seems to me one of the most distinctive specificities of the wider debate on the relationship between the recognition of a common sex belonging and the critical cleavage vis-à-vis western white feminism, brought about by women who called into question the moot point of different types of belonging to people, race, culture and class as well as sexual preferences.

As is well-known, this is an essential chapter in the history of contemporary feminism: in Italy, it has been translated into a debate between difference and differences, where the term differences is closely linked to the node of female individuality and uniqueness of each individual woman – even though this really is a history to be written.

Already in the feminism of the Seventies, the question of differences among women emerged rather soon in relation to groups and within themselves: “Differenze”, - just to mention one example - is the significant title of a magazine collecting the Roman feminist collective and groups’ experiences (Di Cori, 1989).

Carla Lonzi, herself, in the second Manifesto of 1977, “Io dico io”, distanced herself from the different interpretations given to her writings and from the central role played by self-awareness in the small group, or to use the words of those times, “coming out” was a painful conflict during the expansion of feminism in the early days.

This process of expansion and involvement of an ever larger number of women took place in a whole plurality of forms, following different personal or group trajectories, giving rise to a multiplicity of pathways.

To many women, the actual body knowledge practice through self-help became central, along with the illegal practice of abortion, the birth of women’s health centres along a self-reappropriation process, as against a whole set of ways in which power was exerted on women’s bodies themselves. Other women more radically chose to shift from a self-awareness to the unconscious unravelling practice, in search of the origin of the male/female relationship, which is at the very roots of culture and history. Others still pondered on female individuality and on the complex relationship between the individual and the social and cultural construction of gender identity, in view of a new form of political practice in women’s relations. Finally, for many women, in the collective mobilisation context of those years, these different choices led to the reformulation or to the dissociation from their own political and cultural belonging, first of all from their activism within the left-wing parties.

To this regard, let me recall an event that seems to me emblematic of Italian feminism: the promotion of independent practices of thinking and meeting by a few groups of women inside traditional organisations, thus giving rise to difficult borderline experiences.

The first one was UDI, a mass association set up in the post-war period, which during the 50’s and 60’s became the most outstanding left-wing women’s association. During those decades it played a fundamental role in social struggles for the improvement of women’s living conditions, equal opportunities in terms of wages and in its commitment for the creation of social services. Its encounter with feminism led to the crisis of that model and to a deep change of the association itself, as set forth by the Congress 1982 , with the decision to be fully independent from political parties, the reorganisation of the centralised structure and the legitimisation of initiatives and activities by individual groups.

The foundation of women’s co-ordination movements within the trade unions was a further difficult borderline experience. It was an extremely important experience from many points of view, such as the overall rethinking of work organisation and of social reproduction seen from the perspective of sex differences and female subjectivity; the implementation of a trade union conquest in 1972 - the 150 hour-long paid course for study purposes – to organise courses for women only. In the framework of these courses, important – although not always peaceful - meetings took place between feminist researchers and teachers and other women coming from other contexts and backgrounds. It was a very lively time of exchange and dissemination of themes, readings, approaches, with an abundant production of notes, collections of pictures and stories.

Of course, during all these various experiences, there were many fruitful types of contamination and exchanges in addition to tensions between different approaches, notions, practices and histories, such as: the relationship between the individual and the group, the thorny issue of love between women, the comparison with other or with many women, the forms of autonomy, women’s relationship with politics, institutions, laws.

Because of time limitations, I cannot dwell on all of them.

Yet, I just wanted to briefly outline this picture, tracing back the most outstanding milestones of the whole decade until the turn of the following decade, trying to underscore an interpretation question concerning the various forms and periods of feminism.

According to a widespread interpretative pattern, the birth of the first groups and collectives was followed by the emergence of other largely visible forms of the movement towards the middle of the decade through the mass demonstrations for the decriminalisation of abortion, which involved an increasingly larger number of women

This phase of peak expansion was then followed by a shrinkage that corresponded to a more general crisis affecting collective movements – with their end in Italy in 1977 – and to the adoption of the law on abortion in 1978.

This pattern undoubtedly has its rationale especially with reference to the political system concerning – at least the temporary - conclusion of the long and controversial development of the law on abortion. Yet, I believe that it is somewhat reductive for at least three fundamental reasons.

The first one concerns the identification between feminism and political movements, in the classical forms of a political movement hindering the analysis of forms in which feminism, or better, feminisms take shape, both from the theoretical point of view and of the ways in which women build “their being together” and their presence in the public sphere. In other words, the molecular aspect of groups, clusters, networks - which is an essential part of women’s history and which cannot be underestimated also with respect to their political history - is overshadowed.

The second one regards the fact that the emphasis laid on the rising movement and the central role – which is by the way controversial – played by the abortion issue as moment of utmost involvement, tends to conceal divisions and conflicts, which were nevertheless present. The issue of self-determination and women’s freedom vis-à-vis forms of control exerted by institutions on women’s bodies was at the centre of the debate. Hence, the request which was put forward by women was for a decriminalisation of a statutory norm. A part of feminism did not take part in mass demonstration, whereas the other side tried to break free from the mediation imposed by political forces, thus playing on the institutional ground.

The third reason, finally, concerns a crucial turning point in the history of Italian feminism: the setting up of women’s centres, libraries, bookshops, magazines, namely a whole set of different forums where women would be free and independent and thus assert their presence in the public arena. It is again a specific aspect, because the setting up of those places meant intertwining memories, communication and experiences with other women, by means of courses, meetings, seminars, research work, theoretical thinking and political initiatives.

In contrast with what happened in other places, no division between “grass roots organisations” and “women’s studies” emerged. Feminism developed much further beyond the seventies, by giving rise to a whole set of original forms of aggregation, different in theory and practice. A few examples might be the Library delle Donne of Milan, Centro Virginia Wolf of Rome, la Casa delle Donne of Turin and many others.

As far as I am personally concerned, I belong to a group of women, which has set up the “Orlando” Association. At that turn of the decade it decided to serve as a “female public space” in the framework of an agreement with local institutions to open up a sexed organisation, which would be long-lasting over time and being a sort of embryo reproduction of the public sphere, to give visibility to different types of subjects and subjectivity.

3. Continuity and discontinuity in generations’ political memory

Let me make two further remarks about this issue: the first one concerns the relationship with previous generations; the second one is related to relationships with future generations.

Forgetfulness about the early history of women’s political presence seems to be a recurrent element of contemporary feminism, as often underlined.
I think that the problem should be approached differently, by introducing distinctive elements that refer to the various national contexts.

From this point of view, in the Italian feminism of the seventies, a bifurcation occurred: on the one hand there was a juxtaposition, rather than a forgetfulness, vis-à-vis the previous women’s political history; on the other hand a tendency emerged that would become ever more clear with the onset of women’s studies towards rediscovering or revisiting faraway histories and figures in space and time.

It seems interesting to me that Rivolta’s Manifesto opened with a quotation by Olympe De Gouges, which contains a radical criticism towards the liberation discourse as it had developed with women’s involvement themselves in the course of contemporary history.

Yet, beyond this reference, the juxtaposition clearly emerges between women’s associations and other forms of women’s political presence within parties and trade unions, as is the case of the Left. A specific case is the Women’s Liberation Movement in Italy, which is the name chosen by women coming from the radical Party. Thanks to its commitment in the divorce and abortion campaigns, it was bound to become one of the leading groups in the feminist arena of that time.

Women’s independence from parties and women’s liberation – or as would later be better clarified - freedom and emancipation would become the basic elements of this juxtaposition, by dissociating themselves from the previous history. More specifically, criticism towards emancipation mainly touched upon two aspects: the rejection of levelling models with regard to the male reference and a dissociation from the actions and contents of equal opportunities’ policies, the moot points being the relationship between equality and difference and women’s position as subjects.

It is not by chance that, in many attempts of reconstruction, 1966 is indicated as the onset of the Italian feminist movement, with the setting up of a joint group called Demau (Demistificazione dell’autoritarismo patriarcale – Demystification of patriarchal authoritarianism), whose manifesto highlighted the need to approach women’s position in society and its contradictions in a new and autonomous way and criticised the policies carried out by “several women’s associations that are concerned with women and their emancipation.”

Paradoxically, during the years of greatest visibility for feminism, the long process started with the setting up of the Unitarian State itself was accomplished with the introduction of laws on equal opportunities in the working environment and of the new family law, after the strong acceleration due to women’s active involvement during the war, the Resistance and the post-war period struggles.
A few years later this history was revised and a collection called “La Resistenza Taciuta”, edited by Anna Bravo and Annamaria Bruzzone, was published. It dealt with life histories of Piedmont women who had actively taken part in the Resistance. It became one of the of the texts that inaugurated Italian women’s studies. This legacy was then seized by a new generation of Italian feminist historians, especially by Franca Pieroni Bortolotti. Through the criticism of the traditional political history, the gaps of memories concerning Italian women’s history were bridged, trying to remedy to the repression imposed by Fascism and by the contradiction existing between communist and socialist ideologies and the 19th/20th century feminism, that was dismissed as middle-class movement.. “Vuoti di memoria” is the title of an essay by Annarita Buttafuoco (Buttafuoco, 1991). We owe a lot to her for her contribution to the knowledge of women’s history and to the avoidance of the same gaps in the future passage from one generation to another. To this regard let me just mention the Women’s History Summer School.
To conclude, what kind of memory or memories are there to be found at the basis of feminism in the Seventies? The turning point of the Eighties, with the setting up of women’s centres, archives, libraries collecting records, life histories, posters, pictures, also marks a crucial point for a far-sighted project of feminist memory. The title of a recent US book might be quoted: “The feminist memoir project. Voices from women’s liberation”. The erasing anxiety, which was recurrent in the events of women’s political history, and the desire “to put into a permanent shape the few scattered reports of the Woman Suffrage Movement still be found ” to quote Elisabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, in their introduction to the first volume of 1881 of the monumental history of American suffragism, played a decisive role in the turning point of that decade. ( Cady Stanton, Anthony, Gage, 1881, p.7)


As already said at the beginning of my presentation, the problem lied and still lies in this shift from the collection to the story and from there to that specific narrative style which is the historical narration.

Wounds, loss of memory can be found at the roots and in the development of feminism. As already pointed out, this was also due to the cleavage that occurred during the Eighties between corporeity and theory, between sexuality and thinking; briefly, the blending into a sort of abstraction, of intertwining between mind and body, overlapping between one’s practical experience and thinking, between inner life and history, which had been the vital core of feminism (“Memoria, 1987; Melandri, 1995).

I believe that at a closer look, we might also identify different histories, yet a lot of research and analysis still remains to be done.

Against this background, what is the relationship with the following generations?

Sylvia Walby, in an essay dating back to a few years ago, concluded her analysis on the forms of backlash that mark a time caesura between the first and second wave of women’s political movement in the West:

“While is now clear that political activity by women did continue throughout the period between 1920 and 1968, which is the conventional gap, many of these women did not call themselves feminist (…)

So am I saying that backlash was unsuccessful, that feminism did continue despite it? The answer is both yes and no. Feminism did continue, but backlash changed the way that women organised and described themselves, and the campaigns could more easily continue.” (Walby, 1993, p.85)

I wanted to report this quotation not rather to discuss its interpretative assumption, but because from the memory-building point of view it calls into question the issue of mutual recognition among generations (Rossi Doria, 1993).

Here I use the word “ recognition”, because it does not imply any identification, but it refers to the distancing option without running any erasing or reduction risk (Lamberti, 1998).

According to the outcomes of a recent research on “Gender Transformations” carried out by the Women’s Documentation Centre of Bologna the feminist adjective/substantive appears to be a difficult self-identification term for women belonging to young generations. Other women will talk about it, so I will not dwell on this topic. I will just confine myself to hinting to a further aspect.
According to many interviewed young women, feminism is perceived as an obsolete movement and exaggerated in some of its manifestations, in the sense that it highlights an identity that is bound to generate destructive conflicts and, in some cases, new forms of injustice in an unexpected semantic association between feminism and chauvinism.

It is a superficial element, which enters in contradiction with other data emerging from the same enquiry, thus leading to a more complex debate.

I just wanted to point it out here, to underscore the weight of widespread social representations and the process leading to the building of particularly schematic and reductive pictures.

To achieve recognition, a double gesture is necessary: older generations should wish to tell younger ones about their experiences and younger generations should receive a history with a meaning.

I can conclude by saying that we are still at the very onset of this whole story and that only the crossing and blending of perspectives and research work can lead to a meaningful narration.

From this point of view, it might be useful to conclude with a provocative remark made by the editors of the introduction to the already mentioned “Feminist memoir project”: “Recently a younger feminist theorist told one of the editors that the problem of relationship between the feminist generations is far more a difficulty for the old than for the young, that is time for the old to let go of seventies politics, to practice a little strategic forgetfulness.”(Blau DuPlessis; Snitow; p.21)

This provocative remark does not exempt us, yet, from the responsibility to write this history, taking into account contexts and women’s political traditions and their close relationships with the different political cultures that have emerged over the past two centuries.

“Memoria” (1987), nn. 19/20.

Annarita Calabrò e Laura Grasso (eds.) (1985), Dal movimento femminista al movimento diffuso, Milano, Angeli.

Yasmine Ergas (1986), Nelle maglie della politica, Milano, Angeli.

Libreria delle donne di Milano (1987), Non credere di avere dei diritti, Torino, Rosenberg § Sellier.

Centro di documentazione delle donne (ed.) (1990), Il movimento delle donne in Emilia Romagna, Bologna, Analisi.

Paola Bono e Sandra Kemp (eds.) (1991), Italian Feminist Thougt, Oxoford, Blackwell.

Luisa Passerini, (1991) Storie di donne e Femministe, Torino, Rosenberg § Sellier.

Piera Zumaglino (1996), Femminismi a Torino, Milano, Angeli.

Emma Baeri e Annarita Buttafuoco (eds.) (1997), Riguardarsi, Siena, Protagon.

Paola Di Cori (1998), Culture del femminismo. Il caso della storia delle donne, in Storia dell’Italia Repubblicana, vol.III, tomo 2, Torino, Einaudi.

Fiamma Lussana (1998), Le donne e la modernizzazione. Il neofemminismo degli anni settanta , in Storia dell’Italia Repubblicana, vol.III, tomo 2, Torino, Einaudi.

Carla Lonzi (1994), Sputiamo su Hegel, Scritti di Rivolta femminile, Milano.

Maria Luisa Boccia (1990), L’io in rivolta, Milano, La Tartaruga.

Emma Baeri (1992), I lumi e il cerchio. Un’esercitazione di storia, Roma, Editori Riuniti.

Sandra Kemp e Paola Bono (eds.) (1993), The Lonely Mirror, London and New York, Routledge.

Agnes Hochberg,(1995), What were the choices? What were the limits? The historical conditions of the emergence of the women’s political mobilization in Italy and Hungary in the 1960s and 1970s, in Travelling throug European Feminisms: Cultural and political practices, Wise, Utrecht.

Paola Di Cori (1988), Il movimento cresce e sceglie l’autonomia, in A. Crispino (ed.), Esperienza storica femminile nell’età moderna e contemporanea, Parte II, Unione Donne Italiane, Circolo “La Goccia”, Roma.

Anna Rossi Doria (1993), Memoria, storia e tradizione delle donne, in Paola Bono (ed.), Questioni di teoria femminista, Milano, La Tartaruga.

Annamaria Bruzzone e Rachele Farina (1976), La Resistenza taciuta. Dodici vite di partigiane piemontesi, Milano, La Pietra.

Annarita Buttafuoco (1971), Vuoti di memoria. Sulla storiografia politica in Italia, in “Memoria”, n.31.

Elisabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage (eds.) (1881), History of Woman Suffrage, New York, Fowler § Welles, vol. I.

Lea Melandri (1995), L’enigma di Freud, in “Lapis”, 1995.

Sylvia Walby (1993), Backlash in Historical Context, in Mary Kennedy, Cathy Lubelska, Val Walsh (eds.), Making Connections: Women’s Studies, Women’s Movements, Women’s Lives, London - Washington, D.C., Taylor § Francis.

Raffaella Lamberti (1998), Antigone nella città, in Scuola di politica Hannah Arendt, Antigone nella città: emozioni e politica, Bologna, Pitagora.

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