Barbara Love

Barbara Love


* Board member of Veteran Feminists of America
* Co-authored the feminist movement’s first book by lesbians about lesbian activists
* Director of the “Pioneer Feminists Project,” which documents early feminist activists and their exploits 

Barbara Love is a board member of Veteran Feminists of America (VFA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring those whom it calls “veterans of the Second Wave of the feminist movement.” VFA explains that this “Second Wave” of feminism had its heyday during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights era of the 1960s. The “First Wave” was the pre-1920 movement to obtain the right for women to vote, and the “Third Wave” refers to the modern-day feminist movement.

Love, along with her lesbian partner Sidney Abbott, is credited with writing the feminist movement’s first book by lesbians about lesbian activists – a 1972 screed titled Sappho Was A Right-On Woman: A Liberated View Of Lesbianism.

Love is a director of one of VFA’s primary campaigns – its “Pioneer Feminists Project,” which is dedicated to documenting “the contributions of early Second Wave feminists active in 1975 or earlier.” The organization states that “all early participants in the Second Wave Women’s Movement are invited to be included in a definitive reference work documenting [their] activities and achievements,” and that the work “will consist of [activists’] first-hand account[s] of what [they] did, where and when, for reference and research by historians, teachers, journalists, librarians, ourselves, [their] sisters, [their] families and generations that follow [them].” Included on this list are such feminist icons as Feminist Majority Foundation president Eleanor Smeal (who has likened abortion opponents in the U.S. to the Taliban in Afghanistan, because of their alleged intolerance for opposing views), and Gloria Steinem, who has blamed “white male patriarchy” for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“There has to be a record,” says Love, “of what we did to make the world a better place for women, and we have to create that record ourselves so we know that what we’ve done is not distorted or outright forgotten. It’s a huge project. In fact, it’s impossible. But then, we feminists often do the impossible.”

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