My project seeks to highlight the role of militant feminism in the Second Wave Feminist movement through the examination of the women of the Weather Underground Organization (WUO). Formed in 1969 as an offshoot of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), WUO positioned itself as an anti-racist anti-imperialist communist militant group. In the groups’ own words, their program aimed to “Mobilize the exploited and oppressed people to wage the class struggle against U.S. imperialism, the common enemy.” From the late 1960s through the late 1970s, the WUO carried out several armed actions, including an infamous sustained bombing campaign. Historically, the Weather Underground has been analyzed separately from the Women’s Movement as the group did not explicitly center feminism in their activism. However, WUO membership and leadership included many women who were integral to the formation of the group’s ideologies and actions. By focusing on the group’s published documents, periodical articles, and the Weatherwomen’s poetry anthology Sing a Battle Song, I hope to call attention to how the WUO’s militant feminism was able to synthesize gender, class, and race in direct response to what they perceived as the failings of the mainstream Second Wave movement.
— Rebecca Gross