1968: The Global Revolutions

New Movements Rise > International Women's Day

The revolutionary events of 1968 inspired other social movements, including second-wave feminism – arising in part in rebellion against the male domination and sexism within radical organizations themselves. In France, this legacy included the formation of the Mouvement de libération des femmes (MLF) by prominent activists influenced by Simone de Beauvoir’s ground-breaking book, The Second Sex. French women demanded autonomy from their husbands and rights to contraception and abortion. Le Torchon Brûle – or, “The Burning Rag” – was a journal published irregularly by the MLF from May 1971 to June 1973. Addressing contemporary topics like divorce, abortion, and teen pregnancy from the feminist perspective, Le Torchon Brûle sought to empower and galvanize women to oppose misogynistic government policies and social mores. This issue’s subtitle, meaning “Thousands of women in revolt,” is echoed in the 1974 International Women’s Day flyer, which invites women with their pots and pans to join a rally in New York City.

International Women’s Day Poster
March 9, 1974
University Protest and Activism Collection

Dedieu, Marie, ed.
Le Torchon Brûle, 1970s

Militant Labor Forum
“Black Nationalism and Feminism”, 1969
University Protest and Activism Collection

Rare Book & Manuscript Library / Butler Library, 6th Fl. East / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-5153 / rbml@libraries.cul.columia.edu