Item Spotlight: “Nothing But a Bunch of Dykes!”


dykes

(Find this document and other artifacts at our online archives.)


In this undated manuscript, perhaps from the early ‘70s, lesbian activist Eva Freund reflects on the turbulent experience of lesbians in the Women’s Movement. As the Movement came to be associated with lesbianism in the 1960s, its leadership balked. “Those inside the Movement,” Freund explains, “were afraid that the label [dyke] would make them inoperative, ineffective, and would mean the demise of the movement. After all, ‘normal’ women wouldn’t want to have anything to do with the movement if it was nothing but a bunch of dykes.” Lesbians faced hostility from Movement leaders, including National Organization for Women (NOW) president Betty Friedan. Nevertheless, Freund points out, lesbians made “tremendous” contributions to the Movement. She concludes the manuscript with a prognosis of reconciliation: “The new rallying cry has become, ‘DAMN THE DIFFERENCES!! ON WITH THE REVOLUTION!!’”


This item, generously contributed by Freund, is part of our online collection Eva Freund Papers: Digital Collection, 1961-1974.