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Feminist magazine Spare Rib returns – but will it have meat?


In yet another cheering sign that feminism’s third wave is gathering pace, the writer Charlotte Raven has announced plans to resurrect the dusty corpse of the radical feminist magazine Spare Rib.

Originally launched in the 1970s by Rosie Boycott and Marsha Rowe, in its heyday the magazine was a spirited mouthpiece for the women’s movement, but later disappeared gradually up its own rear end and folded in 1993.

Raven says readers should not expect the “timid liberalism” of the feminism seen in the mainstream media, with issues such as “the health risks of the new depilatory norms” (hurrah), rather than “the dearth of women on the boards of FTSE 100 companies” (oh).

It will initially launch online, where, hearteningly, it faces competition from the feminist sass-fest that is Vagenda, as well as the likes of Jezebel.

Would Raven see these as timidly liberal? What they certainly are is inclusive, and I for one – still slightly smarting from the bum’s rush I felt 1980s Spare Rib always gave me as a keen (but straight) young feminist – am all for that. It sometimes felt less like I was fighting the enemy, more like I was  the enemy.

So if the new Spare Rib is the forum I always hoped it would be – accessible, intellectual, campaigning and far-sighted (the composition of the FTSE boards affects all of us, not just its gilded members) – then I’ll be  a keen reader. If it will have me.