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Reviving and Revisiting Consciousness-Raising as Feminist Practice

Laura Potts, Jane Watts and Dena Attar

The 'presentation' will have three parts: in the first, a small group of feminists who were in a consciousness-raising group together will reactivate the process around topics of current interest and personal relevance. This will thus be an opportunity to demonstrate its key role in feminist practice, particularly for those who have not worked in this way. The second part will take the form a reflexive discussion among the group members, to consider the contribution of CR to feminist debate and action, its relevance to our identities as feminists (then and now), and the hijacking of the process into a discourse of individualised counselling. We will also identify the fracture lines in the group as it was constituted, and the elements of its eventual dissolution. The final part of the session will invite discussion from the other participants, to consider the potential usefulness of CR to current feminist practices. The CR group members are all still involved in feminist activity, and still identify as feminists. We would like to think that this is, in some part, due to our formative experience in CR.

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