Naming Themselves: A Militant Act for Feminists (1967-1991)

Banner from the Norwegian Kvinnefronten movement (Women’s front) indicating the date it was founded and its slogan “Fight against any oppression of women.”


Feminist groups have names that often convey a political, symbolic or historical meaning. A brief overview of names from the primary independent feminist movements born in Europe between 1967 and 1991, reveal important influences and/or intentions in the struggle for women’s rights within highly different national contexts. With their revolutionary dimension, these names advocate the “liberation of women” or the inclusion of men in the feminist struggle, and thereby highlight feminism’s proximity to socialism or the hope for a democratic future after the fall of a dictatorial regime. The term “feminist” is invoked to mobilize women around a common cause. Humour and self-deprecation are also present in the choice of names for feminist movements, as is paying homage to earlier generations of militant women.