Ti-Grace Atkinson

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Ti-Grace Atkinson
Born (1938-11-09) November 9, 1938 (age 76)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Occupation Author, Theorist
Nationality United States
Period 1968-1974
Subject Feminism, LGBT movement,
Literary movement Feminist, Radical Feminist

Ti-Grace Atkinson (born November 9, 1938 as Grace Atkinson) is an American feminist author.[1]

Atkinson was born into a prominent Louisiana family. The "Ti" in her name reflects the Cajun or French language petit, although the feminine form is petite and is abbreviated to tite, for little.[2][3]

Atkinson earned her BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1964. While still in Philadelphia, she helped found the Institute of Contemporary Art, acting as its first director, and was sculpture critic for the periodical ARTnews. She later moved to New York where, in 1967, she entered the Ph.D program in Philosophy at Columbia University.[4] As of 2009 she was associated with the faculty of Tufts University.[5]

As an undergraduate, Atkinson read Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, and struck up a correspondence with Beauvoir, who suggested that she contact Betty Friedan.[6] Atkinson thus became an early member of the National Organization for Women, which Friedan had founded, serving on the national board, and becoming the New York chapter president in 1967.[7] In 1968 she left the organization because it would not confront issues like abortion and marriage inequalties.[4] She founded the October 17th Movement, which later morphed into The Feminists, a radical feminist group active until 1973. By 1971 she had written several pamphlets on feminism, was a member of the Daughters of Bilitis and was advocating specifically political lesbianism.[8] Her best known book, Amazon Odyssey, was published in 1974.[9]

After she left The Feminists she said, “Sisterhood is powerful. It kills. Mostly sisters," which was often quoted by feminists, although often without the word "mostly."[10]

In 2013 Atkinson, along with Carol Hanisch, Kathy Scarbrough and Kathie Sarachild, initiated "Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Criticism of 'Gender'", which they described as an "open statement from 48 radical feminists from seven countries".[11] In August 2014 Michelle Goldberg in the The New Yorker described it as expressing their “alarm” at “threats and attacks, some of them physical, on individuals and organizations daring to challenge the currently fashionable concept of gender.”[12]


  • "The Institution of Sexual Intercourse" (pamphlet, 1968, published by The Feminists)
  • "Vaginal orgasm as a mass hysterical survival response" (pamphlet, 1968, published by The Feminists)
  • "Radical Feminism" (pamphlet, 1969, published by The Feminists)
  • "Radical Feminism and Love" (pamphlet, 1969, published by The Feminists)
  • Amazon Odyssey (1974)
  • "Why I'm against S/M liberation". Against Sadomasochism: A Radical Feminist Analysis. 1982. pp. 90–92. ISBN 0-960-36283-5. OCLC 7877113. 


  1. ^ Sue Wilkinson, Celia Kitzinger (1993). Heterosexuality: a feminism and psychology reader. Sage Publications. ISBN 0-8039-8823-0. 
  2. ^ "An 'Oppressed Majority' Demands Its Rights", by Sara Davidson, Life Magazine, 1969. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
  3. ^ David De Leon (1994). Leaders from the 1960s: A Biographical Sourcebook of American Activism. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-27414-2. 
  4. ^ a b Lynne E. Ford, "Ti-Grace Atkinson" entry, Encyclopedia of Women and American Politics, Infobase Publishing, January 1, 2009, pp. 40-41, accessed August 2013.
  5. ^ "Ti-Grace Atkinson", Tufts University Philosophy Faculty page, Wayback Machine archive, accessed August 31, 2014.
  6. ^ O'Dea, Suzanne. From Suffrage to the Senate: an encyclopedia of American women in politics. ABC-CLIO, Inc. 1999.
  7. ^ Movement Chronology, Civil War-Present
  8. ^ Kate Bedford and Ara Wilson Lesbian Feminist Chronology: 1971-1976
  9. ^ Linda J. LeMoncheck (1997). Loose Women, Lecherous Men: a feminist philosophy of sex. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-510555-9. 
  10. ^ Faludi, Susan (April 15, 2013). "Death of a Revolutionary". The New Yorker. 
  11. ^ Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Criticism of 'Gender'", at Meeting Ground online, August 12, 2013, updated with more signatures September 20, 2013.
  12. ^ Michelle Goldberg, What Is a Woman? The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism, The New Yorker, August 4, 2014.

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