‘Yours in Struggle’: Bad Feelings and Revolutionary Politics in Spare Rib

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When Spare Rib first launched in July 1972, its glossy pages promised to ‘put women’s liberation on the newsstands’ by spreading ‘new politics through familiar forms’ (Fell 1979: 2). From editorials exploring how it ‘feels’ to work collectively to letters from readers expressing the emotional toll of discrimination, Spare Rib makes a consistent effort to provide spaces in which the feelings associated with women’s liberation can be articulated and explored. This article examines the extent to which affect theory might help to illuminate the virulent discourse of feeling in Spare Rib. Foregrounding the high premium placed on personal testimony, both within the women’s liberation movement and in Spare Rib specifically, it explores a mixed selection of published correspondence and reflective editorials in order to assess how ‘bad feelings’ (Ahmed 2010a: 50), in particular, might serve as an ‘affective magnet’ around which the politics of feminism can be negotiated and critiqued (Berlant 2008: 7).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-465
JournalWomen: A Cultural Review
Issue number4
Early online date11 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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