The Sound of One Hand Clapping

The Sound of One Hand Clapping

I first made contact with the women’s liberation movement twenty years ago, in the fall of 1968, when Linda Gordon showed me a copy of a magazine called No More Fun and Games, put out by an organization called Cell 16. No More Fun and Games had a message that was entirely new to me, though it resonated through my subconscious like a bell to which I was already tuned. Its voice was angry, raw, and full of pain, combined with a kind of bitter triumph at seeing the situation for what it was. I fell in love with the voice of women’s liberation, and for all its occasional stridency love it still.

I am not talking about the National Organization for Women (NOW). NOW had been around since 1966, but nobody I knew belonged to it. My friends and I thought of it as an organization for people our mothers’ age, who lived in places like Brookline, where we never went. We were movement girls, not career women; NOW’s demands and organizational style weren’t radical enough for us. We wanted to build a just society, not get a bigger slice of the pie. Besides, we were generational sectarians; we didn’t trust anybody over thirty.

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