Regan Murray (MA in European History, Politics, and Society) presented her thesis research at the 5th Annual Columbia GSAS Master's SynThesis Competition: "Separating the Separatists: Factionalism in the British Women’s Liberation Movement"
The British Women’s Liberation Movement (WLM) represented the fraught marriage of three factions of second-wave feminists—socialist, radical, and revolutionary. Why did factions develop within the WLM? This thesis counters existing scholarship that explains feminist factionalism as the product of differing strategic preferences or social ties to argue that feminist factions developed out of ideological disagreements. This project probes factionalism at its most granular, centering on the rifts that cleaved West Yorkshire feminists into opposing revolutionary and radical camps. Members of the two groups continued to socialize in the same circles and used similar repertoires to combat women’s oppression. To see the rift between them clearly, one must turn to their books, newsletters, and oral histories, where they exchange biting criticisms of each other’s differing theories of why the patriarchy existed and how it maintained power.
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) at Columbia University organized and sponsored this virtual competition on April 16, 2021.