The Origin Story of a Slogan: The Personal is Political

Stevenson, Guy. 2022. The Origin Story of a Slogan: The Personal is Political. Psyche, [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article explores the radical-feminist origins of the slogan ‘the personal is political’, and what these tell us about language in our own divided age. One of the many slogans to come out of the culture war in the 1960s, it is also definitive of our own. The article begins by framing the past six years of British and American politics in terms of a disagreement over the sentiment suggested by the slogan — over the place that personal feeling and identity have in the way policy is made, and progress defined. It goes on to examine the marriage of Baptist and Marxist thinking that produced that sentiment within radical feminist circles at the end of the 1960s, and to emphasise two conflicting factors: its compassionate essence and its weaponisation at both ends of the political spectrum today.

Item Type:



Culture Wars, Feminism, The Personal is Political, Kate Millett, Gloria Steinem

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


5 October 2022Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Jun 2024 14:21

Last Modified:

12 Jun 2024 14:21


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