The word “separatism” may lead some to recoil. But what does it really mean, from radical feminist perspective? Susan Hawthorne is co-founder of Spinifex Press, an independent feminist press in Melbourne, Australia, and author of two novels, nine collections of poetry, four non fiction books, and numerous other publications.
She first published In Defense of Separatism in 1976, as an honours thesis, and decided to revisit the subject, publishing it as a book in 2019, considering the revived debate around women’s spaces.
In this episode, I speak with Susan about separatism and her analysis of women’s oppression, today and yesterday.
Susan has a doctorate in Women’s Studies and Political Science from the University of Melbourne, as well as post graduate qualifications in Ancient Greek and Sanskrit and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Philosophy from La Trobe University. Susan won the 2017 Inspire Award, Penguin Random House Best Achievement in Writing for her work as an outstanding lifetime contributor to increasing people’s awareness of disability. In 2015 she received the George Robertson Award for her services to the publishing industry. In 1996 she won the Hall of Fame Award in The Rainbow Awards for contribution to the Gay and Lesbian Community. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Writing Program at James Cook University.
In Defense of Separatism is published with Spinifex Press.