chapter  19
Corresponding in the Sex and Gender Revolution: Desire, Education and Feminist Letters, 1970-2000
ByMargaretta Jolly Jolly
Pages 18

Personal letters have not only recorded the social history of second-wave feminism, they have actively shaped it. This is not only because political movements depend in part upon individual networking, a fact that is universally known though often denied. It is because feminism places such a conscious emphasis on the politics of personal relationship. Feminist deconstruction of the divide between public and private finds its epistolary expression in letters of coming out, letters of community or testimony, ‘open letters’ of petition and essay, and simply those missives of changing ideas and emotions between friends, families, lovers. 1 Feminist letter-writing, in other words, possesses a distinctly educational interest, not only in the publicly addressed letter but in familiar or ‘private’ correspondence (and which, indeed, can make private letters publishable).