Feminism has suffered a significant loss in recent decades. The impact of “queer studies,” neoliberalism, and identity politics was substantial. Renowned radical feminist, Sheila Jeffreys, witnessed the move from “Women’s Studies” to “Gender Studies” in academia and saw feminist discourse and women’s culture built during the second wave eroded.
Jeffreys joined the women’s movement in the early 1970s and was a professor in the political science department at the University of Melbourne for 24 years. She is the author of numerous books, including: Anticlimax: A Feminist Perspective On the Sexual Revolution, The Spinster and Her Enemies, Unpacking Queer Politics, Beauty and Misogyny, The Industrial Vagina, and Gender Hurts.
I spoke with her about the past and future of the women’s liberation movement, as well as her experiences working as a radical feminist in academia, over the phone from her home in the UK.