When the Personal Became Too Political: ASIO and the Monitoring of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the official history of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), there is only one mention of the women’s liberation movement, amongst a collection of other social movements that emerged in Australia in the late 1960s and early 1970s, alongside the anti-Vietnam War and Aboriginal rights movements. However, we know from files released by the National Archives of Australia that ASIO heavily monitored the women’s liberation movement in Australia, just as it did with most social and protest movements that existed at the time. Concerned about the crossover between the women’s liberation movement and other protest movements, ASIO were particularly worried about the entry of the various far left groups, such as Communists, Trotskyists and Maoists, into the women’s liberation movement, even though these groups were very much divided about the issue of women’s rights during this period. This article examines the ASIO files on the Australian women’s liberation movement and the anxiety that the authorities felt about the ‘threat’ of the personal becoming too politicised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-60
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Feminist Studies
Volume33
Issue number95
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'When the Personal Became Too Political: ASIO and the Monitoring of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this