How the personal became political: Special issue

Australian Feminist Studies

Volume 33, 2018 - Issue 95: How the Personal Became Political

How the Personal became Political presents new research on the events, policy changes and watershed developments in gender and sexuality in Australia in the 1970s.

This Special Issue addresses the current political and theoretical significance of the 1970s revolutions, and key questions about the nature of sweeping change. How and why did matters previously considered private and personal, become public and political? What were the key policy shifts? How were protests in the streets connected to legislative reforms? Who were the critical players and what were the dramatic moments? How was resistance to change manifested, and what fears were articulated? How did Australia fit into the broader transnational movements for change? What have been the legacies and what can feminists and gay and lesbian activists today learn from them? Scholars from several disciplines offer fresh insight into this wave of social revolution, and its continuing relevance.


Introduction—How the Personal Became Political: The Gender and Sexuality Revolutions in 1970s Australia

Michelle Arrow & Angela Woollacott


How the Personal Became Political: The Feminist Movement of the 1970s

Elizabeth Reid



Beauty Becomes Political: Beginnings of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Australia

Susan Magarey



When the Personal Became Too Political: ASIO and the Monitoring of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Australia

Evan Smith



Feminism in Sydney’s Suburbs: ‘Speaking Out’, Listening and ‘Sisterhood’ at the 1975 Women’s Commissions

Isobelle Barrett Meyering



Making Family Violence Public in the Royal Commission on Human Relationships, 1974–1977

Michelle Arrow



Being a Women’s Adviser at the State Level: Deborah McCulloch and Don Dunstan in 1970s South Australia

Angela Woollacott



Before the Refrain: The Personal and the Political in South Australia's Sexual Revolution

Clare Parker



Abortion and the Limits of the Personal Becoming Political

Barbara Baird



Activism and Australia's Ban on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Military Service in the 1970s–80s

Noah Riseman

Book Review

The History of British Women’s Writing, 1970–Present

Karin Sellberg




ANU, Beyond ANU, Gender Institute

Date posted

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute