Off Our Backs

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Off Our Backs
Off our backs.png
Edited byCollective
Publication details
Off Our Backs, Inc. (United States)
Standard abbreviations
ISO 4Off Our Backs
OCLC no.1038241

Off Our Backs (stylized in all lowercase; oob) was an American radical feminist periodical that ran from 1970 to 2008.[1] It began publishing on February 27, 1970, with a twelve-page tabloid first issue. From 2002 the editors adapted it into a bimonthly journal.

Off Our Backs was edited and published by a collective of women who practiced consensus decision-making. Marilyn Salzman Webb, Heidi Steffens, Marlene Wicks, Colette Reid, and Norma Lesser formed the original Off Our Backs collective.[2] The staff later[when?] consisted of Carol Anne Douglas, Tacie Dejanikus, Amaya Roberson, Sherri Whatley, Laura Butterbaugh, Farar Elliott, Angie Manzano, Karla Mantilla, Jennie Ruby, Jenn Smith, Alice Henry, and Angie Young.[3]

Off Our Backs was last published in 2008 due to financial trouble.[4][5]

The editorial statement from the first issue in February 1970 states that Off Our Backs "is a paper for all women who are fighting for the liberation of their lives and we hope it will grow and expand to meet the needs of women from all backgrounds and classes."[6] The editors ask readers to "use this paper to relate what you are doing and what you are thinking, for we are convinced that a woman speaking from the agony of her own struggle has a voice that can touch the experience of all women."[6]

Archives of Off Our Backs are housed at Hornbake Library, University of Maryland.[7]

The title of the magazine On Our Backs (one of the first women-run erotica magazines and one of the first magazines to feature lesbian erotica for a lesbian audience in the United States) was a satirical reference to Off Our Backs, which the founders of On Our Backs considered prudish about sexuality.[8] Off Our Backs regarded the new magazine as "pseudo-feminist" and threatened legal action over the logo OOB.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jenny Gunnarsson Payne (November 2009). "Feminist media as alternative media? A literature review". Interface: A Journal for and About Social Movements. 1 (2). CiteSeerX
  2. ^ Brownmiller, Susan (2000). In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution. New York: Dial Press. ISBN 978-0-385-31486-2. OCLC 41885669.
  3. ^ "off our backs". Archived from the original on June 24, 2017.
  4. ^ Marshall, Lucinda (July 11, 2008). "Off Our Backs In Financial Trouble". Women In Media and Film.
  5. ^ Steinshouer, Betty Jean; Douglas, Carol Anne (Winter 2016). "An Interview with Carol Anne Douglas: off our backs and Other Feminist Phenomena". Trivia: Voices of Feminism (17).
  6. ^ a b "Statement". off our backs. Internet Archive. Archived from the original on December 24, 2005. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  7. ^ "Collection: Off Our Backs records | Archival Collections". Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  8. ^ Martha Cornog, Timothy Perper, "For sex education, see librarian: a guide to issues and resources", Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996, ISBN 0-313-29022-9, p.97
  9. ^ Josh Sides, "Erotic City: Sexual Revolutions and the Making of Modern San Francisco", Oxford University Press US, 2009, ISBN 0-19-537781-8, p.219