Carol Hanisch is a radical feminist and was an important member of New York Radical Women and Redstockings. She is best known for popularizing the phrase the personal is political in a 1969 essay of the same name. She also conceived the 1968 Miss America protest and was one of the four women who hung a women's liberation banner over the balcony at the Miss America Pageant, disrupting the proceedings.
Hanisch was born and raised on a small farm in rural Iowa, and worked as a wire services reporter in Des Moines before leaving to join the Delta Ministry in Mississippi in 1965, inspired by the Freedom Summer reports the year before. There, she met the co-founders of the Southern Conference Education Fund (SCEF), Anne Braden and husband Carl Braden, who hired her to run the SCEF NY office.
Feminist activism and writing
By early 1968, Hanisch had secured the SCEF offices for the weekly meetings of the New York Radical Women, and it remained their base until the group dissolved in the early 70's.
She co-founded and currently co-edits with Kathy Scarbrough Meeting Ground online, the third version of "Meeting Ground." The statement of purpose from 1977 describes itself as providing "an ongoing place to hammer out ideas about theory, strategy and tactics for the women’s liberation movement and for the general radical movement of working men and women."
In 2013 Hanish, along with Scarbrough, Ti-Grace Atkinson 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". In August 2014 Michelle Goldberg in 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.”
- Smith, Dale M. (2012-01-15). Poets Beyond the Barricade: Rhetoric, Citizenship, and Dissent after 1960. University of Alabama Press. pp. 153–. ISBN 9780817317492. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- Buchanan, Paul D. (2011). Radical Feminists: A Guide to an American Subculture. ABC-CLIO. p. 124ff. ISBN 9781598843576.
- Brownmiller, Susan (1999). In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution. Dial Press, pp. 20–21, 23.
- Meeting Ground online website "about page" with January 1977 statement of purpose, accessed August 31, 2014.
- Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Criticism of 'Gender'", at Meeting Ground online, August 12, 2013, updated with more signatures September 20, 2013.
- Goldberg, Michelle (August 4, 2014). "What Is a Woman? The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism", The New Yorker.