This is the second in a series of posts on the history of the term “politically correct” as a pejorative. (You can read the first post here.) In this post, I want to explore in more detail what I gestured toward at the end of the last post: the (mostly) pejorative use of “politically correct” within Second Wave feminist polemics.
My impression from some initial primary source spelunking for this series of posts – a great deal of that in off our backs, for reasons of logistical accessibility — has been that activists in the emerging women’s liberation movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s took up the political terminology circulating in some quarters of the Left and turned that terminology into a critique of calls for revolution and liberation that only reinforced, as these critics saw it, the subordination and oppression of women. I say “liberation movements” following the lead of Benita Roth, whose Separate Roads to Feminism explores the emergence of practically simultaneous, somewhat interconnected, and yet politically distinct feminist liberation movements among Black, Chicana and white women. Continue reading