Spare Rib  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Spare Rib was a second-wave feminist magazine in the United Kingdom that emerged out of the counter culture of the late 1960s as a consequence of meetings involving, amongst others, Rosie Boycott and Marsha Rowe.


Its first edition was published in June 1972 and some newsagents, including W H Smith, refused to stock it at the time. It sold around 20,000 copies per month but was circulated more widely through women's groups and networks.

It avoided the glossy look of mainstream women's magazines in favour of a look that imitated the style of the newsletters of the underground press of the 1960s and early 1970s.

Its purpose, as described in its editorial, was to investigate and present alternatives to the traditional gender roles for women of virgin, wife or mother.

Early articles were linked closely with left-leaning political theories of the time, especially anti-capitalism and the exploitation of women as consumers through fashion.

As the women's movement evolved during the 1970s the magazine became a focus for sometimes acrimonious debate between the many streams which emerged within the movement, such as socialist feminism, radical feminism, revolutionary feminism, lesbian feminism, liberal feminism and black feminism.

It ceased publication in 1993.


  • 1972 - 1979? : Marsha Rowe
  • 1979 - 1984 : Sue O'Sullivan

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