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Two Redstockings interviewed

This interview with Kathie Sarachild and Amy Coenen of the Redstockings was conducted by Doug Henwood and broadcast on WBAI, New York, on January 24, 2002. The transcription was by Nicole Hardin for Redstockings; it's been slightly edited for the web.

Amy Coenen and Kathie Sarachild are with the Redstockings, a feminist organization that was founded over 30 years ago - one of the few organizations from the uprisings of the 1960's that survives to today. Amy Coenen and Kathie Sarachild are 2 of the 3 authors along with Jenny Brown, of Women's Liberation and National Health Care: Confronting the Myth of America, a Redstockings organizing packet. Welcome to WBAI, Kathie and Amy, are you with us?

Amy Coenen: Yes, thanks a lot Doug.

Kathie Sarachild: It's great to be here.

DH: Thanks for joining us. I apologize for the slight delay but there a series of transportation mishaps retarded my progress a little bit.

AC: No problem.

DH: Let's get right to it. Redstockings first. Some people may have dim memories, and other folks may have dimmer memories of the late 1960s and early 70s, but some may be surprised to know that you are still around. Can you give us the quick history of who you are and how you managed to survive for 30 years?

AC: OK, well this is Amy and I'll try to tell you and encapsulate what Redstockings is and a little bit of our history. As you mentioned, Redstockings is one of the radical women's liberation groups of the 1960s that produced so many of the slogans and actions that have become household words to people in America. For example, "sisterhood is powerful," "consciousness-raising," "the personal is political."

The name actually combines "red" for revolution with "bluestockings" which is the derogatory label pinned on 19th century feminists. Right now Redstockings is a grassroots feminist think tank. And what we mean by that is that we want to investigate and figure out how we can advance the liberation of women. The grassroots part means that, first of all, we are funded by the dollars of individual working women instead of rich corporations and foundations, which is the case with most think tanks. And secondly, we are mainly made up of experienced feminist organizers, which obviously is pretty different from most other think tanks, too. And, of course, the newest work to come out of the think tank is the new book, Women's Liberation and National Health Care.

DH: And you are a younger member of Redstockings. You're not just made up of veterans from 30 years ago, right?

AC: Righ