The Chicago Women’s Liberation 
Rock Band, 1970-1973

by

1. I wrote “Love” with Virginia Blaisdell, one of the organizers, horn players, and later drummers of our sister New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band. I got the idea from a song we used to sing at the Bronx High School of Science; Virginia arranged the music with a witty Doo Wop chorus, and added most of the lyrics.

For more on the CWLRB and related topics, see:

CWLRB’s CD, with New Haven Women’s Liberation Rock Band, “Papa Don’t Lay that Shit on Me” (2005) Rounder Records # 82161-4001-2.

CWLRB with New Haven WLRB, “Mountain Moving Day,” (1972) Rounder Records # 4001.

Hillary Reser, “‘One By One You’re Gonna Know Our Power’: The Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band and the Politics of Cultural Transformation,” (2004).

Naomi Weisstein, “Days of Celebration and Resistance: The Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band, 1970-1973,” in Rachel Blau DuPlessis and Ann Snitow, eds., Feminist Memoir Project: Voices from Women’s Liberation (Three Rivers Press, 1998).

Naomi Weisstein, “Mutineers in Mainstream Music: Heralds of a New Feminist Wave?” 1999.

Naomi Weisstein and Virginia Blaisdell, “Feminist Rock: No More Balls and Chains, Ms., Dec. 1972.

Naomi Weisstein, “‘How Can a Little Girl Like You Teach a Great Big Class of Men?’ The Chairman Said, and Other Adventures of a Woman in Science,” in Sarah Ruddick and Pamela Daniels, eds., Working it Out: 23 Women Writers, Artists, Scientists, and Scholars Talk About Their Lives and Work (New York, 1977).

Naomi Weisstein, “Neural Symbolic Activity: A Psychophysical Measure,” Science, Vol. 168, no. 3938 (June 1970): 1489-1491. 

Naomi Weisstein and Charles S. Harris, “Visual Detection of Line Segments: An Object-Superiority Effect,” Science, vol. 186, no. 4165 (Nov. 22, 1974): 752-755.

Naomi Weisstein, “Theft,” in Robert Sternberg and Susan T. Fiske, eds., Professional Ethics in Science (Cambridge University Press, in press 2014).

 

Acknowledgments

Enormous, heartfelt thanks to Professor Deborah Belle for organizing the spectacular landmark conference at Boston University, March 26-28, 2014: “A Revolutionary Moment: Women’s Liberation in the Late 1960’s and early 1970’s” and for enthusiastically welcoming my participation (in absentia); and to my fellow panelists in the session “Women’s Liberation in Action; Theory, Practice, and Organization”: Chris Riddiough, Heather Tobis Booth, Vivian Rothstein, Demita Frazier, and Amy Kesselman. Since I am ill and bedridden, my paper was presented—with “enormous gusto” and “spirit” (as described by admiring women who were there)—by my long-time friend, Heather Booth, who, like me, traces her feminist history to the Chicago West Side Group (1967-1969) and the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union (1969-1979); to Virginia Blaisdell for sharply editing a shorter version of this paper; to Jesse Lemisch for astute editing, and for suggesting at least half the jokes; to Ken Irwin of Rounder Records for pressing the original “Mountain Moving Day” vinyl record in 1973 and then remastering the record on CD in 2005 with the addition of more CWLRB songs, a standup comic monologue by me, and two contributions by Le Tigre; to Suzanne Levy and Stacey Lewis; and finally to the members of the Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band, Sherry Jenkins, Pat Miller née Matthews, Susan Abod, Kathy Rowley, Fanya Montalvo, and Suzanne Prescott, with all of whom I still sing, shout, dance, and laugh in my head. A shorter version of the present paper was presented at the Boston University Conference and published on the New Politics Blog as “The Chicago Women’s Liberation Rock Band 1970-1973: A Slapstick Demolition of Male Supremacy” (April 8, 2014).