"The Personal Is Political” is the title of Carol Hanisch’s February 1969 paper that was printed in Notes from the Second Year: Women’s Liberation; Major Writings of the Radical Feminists (1970). Hanisch said that she didn’t give the paper its title, and credits the book’s editors Shulie Firestone and Anne Koedt. “Also, political’ was used here in the broad sense of the word as having to do with power relationships, not the narrow sense of electorial politics,” Hanisch wrote in a January 2006 introduction.
“The personal is political” was an early slogan in the women’s movement, but is now also used by many other causes.
Wikipedia: Carol Hanisch
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 conceived of the idea to protest against the Miss America Pageant in 1968.
The paper, “The Personal Is Political,” was originally published in Notes from the Second Year: Women’s Liberation in 1970 and was widely reprinted and passed around the Movement and beyond in the next several years. I didn’t know just how much it had gotten around until I did a Google search and found it being discussed in many different languages.
I’d like to clarify for the record that I did not give the paper its title, “The Personal Is Political.” As far as I know, that was done by Notes from the Second Year editors Shulie Firestone and Anne Koedt after Kathie Sarachild brought it to their attention as a possible paper to be printed in that early collection. Also, “political” was used here in the broad sense of the word as having to do with power relationships, not the narrow sense of electorial politics.
The Personal Is Political
by Carol Hanisch
For this paper I want to stick pretty close to an aspect of the Left debate commonly talked about—namely “therapy” vs. “therapy and politics.” Another name for it is “personal” vs. “political” and it has other names, I suspect, as it has developed across the country. I haven’t gotten over to visit the New Orleans group yet, but I have been participating in groups in New York and Gainesville for more than a year. Both of these groups have been called “therapy” and “personal” groups by women who consider themselves “more political.” So I must speak about so-called therapy groups from my own experience.
OCLC WorldCat record
Notes from the second year: women’s liberation; major writings of the radical feminists.
Publisher: [New York, Radical Feminism, 1970]
Edition/Format: Book : English
17 August 1972, Capital Times (Madison, WI), “Why More Wpmen Must Vote” by Barbara Ellingson-Waugh, pg. 44, col. 6:
THE PROBLEM OF NOT voting has many facets. Common to all of them is the lack of realization that the personal is political.
American women don’t vote proportionately as much as men. If and when we do vote we’re more liberal than men. more conservative of life. And we have yet to fully realize that the personal is political. These three facts are all related.
7 July 1973, Springfield (MA) Union, “‘Female Experience’ on Exhibit” by Lynn Stahlberg, pg. 12, col. 5:
“You know the old feminist maxim, ‘the personal is political,’ well, that’s the way I see the women’s movement,” said the artist whose one-woman show will have an opening party tonight at 8 p.m. at Leverett Craftsmen and Artists gallery in Leverett Center.
Their use of alcohol and other legal drugs : a provincial consultation, 1976
By Lavada Pinder
Toronto : Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario
The Personal and the Political
The concept of “the personal and political” is central to this paper. For me, the two are inextricably interwoven. The personal is political and vice versa.
They Should Have Served That Cup of Coffee
Edited by Dick Cluster
Boston, MA: South End Press
This was one of the many warning of what became a watchword of Women’s (Pg. 195—ed.) Liberation: “The personal is political, and the political is personal.”
Google News Archive
8 May 1987, The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR), “Character suicide, not assassination” by Ellen Goodman, pg. 15-A, col. 5:
More important, a slogan of the women’s movement—the personal is political—has become a common sensibility.
The Yale Book of Quotations
Edited by Fred R. Shapiro
New Haven, CT; Yale University Press
U.S. feminist, fl. 1969
The Personal Is Political.
Title of article, Notes from the Second Year (1969)