Spare Rib

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For other uses, see Spare rib (disambiguation).
Spare Rib
Spare Rib magazine cover Dec 1972.jpg
Spare Rib cover, December 1972
Editor Collective from late 1973
Categories Feminist Magazine
Year founded 1972
Final issue 1993
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Website (archive)

Spare Rib was a second-wave feminist magazine in the United Kingdom that emerged from the counter culture of the late 1960s as a consequence of meetings involving, among others, Rosie Boycott and Marsha Rowe.


Spare Rib‍ '​s first issue was published in June 1972.[1] At the time, some newsagents refused to stock it, including W. H. Smith. Selling at first around 20,000 copies per month, it was circulated more widely through women's groups and networks.

Its purpose, as described in its editorial, was to investigate and present alternatives to the traditional gender roles for women of virgin, wife or mother.[2]

Early articles were linked closely with left-leaning political theories of the time, especially anti-capitalism and the exploitation of women as consumers through fashion.

As the women's movement evolved during the 1970s, the magazine became a focus for sometimes acrimonious debate between the many streams that emerged within the movement, such as socialist feminism, radical feminism, revolutionary feminism, lesbian feminism, liberal feminism and black feminism.[3]

Spare Rib ceased publication in 1993.[1][4]

It was announced by The Guardian in April 2013 that the magazine was due to be relaunched, with the journalist Charlotte Raven at the helm.[5] It was subsequently announced that while a magazine and website were to be launched, it would now have a different name.[6]

In May 2015 the British Library put its complete archive of Spare Rib online.[7]


Spare Rib became a collective by the end of 1973 (see Spare Rib Reader, edited by Marsha Rowe, and Rosie Boycott, A Nice Girl Like Me).


  1. ^ a b "Spare Rib (Magazine, 1972-1993)". Grassroots Feminism. 7 August 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Women’s History Month: Spare Rib", Women's History Network, 22 March 2011.
  3. ^ Sue O'Sullivan, "Passion, bitterness and feminism". eGZact as … or not, 19 October 2007. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  4. ^ Elke Zobl; Ricarda Drüeke (March 2014). Feminist Media: Participatory Spaces, Networks and Cultural Citizenship. Transcript Verlag. p. 56. ISBN 978-3-8394-2157-4. Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Ben Dowell, "Spare Rib magazine to be relaunched by Charlotte Raven", The Guardian, 25 April 2013.
  6. ^ Charlotte Raven, "My 'wounding' battle with Spare Rib founders over feminism 2.0", The Telegraph, 24 June 2013.
  7. ^ Spare Rib goes digital: 21 years of radical feminist magazine put online The Guardian. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015.


  • An extensive collection of most if not all publications can be found in the Women's Library reference/reading room in London.

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