Women throughout time have fought for their rights as females. From equal pay to the rights of abortion ladies have put there necks on the line and protested for what they believed right. Throughout these battles they held banners and created logos to make themselves noticed throughout the crowds. The most common symbol that is associated with female protests is the Womens Liberation symbol. Made of the combination of the fist and the Venus symbol, and was first seen during the Women’s Liberation Movement was in the late 1960s.
The symbol itself could suggest that inside the stereotypically feminine shape of the mother, there is an aggression and a fight for change. The fist could also be linked to the ‘Rosie the Riveter’ posters produced during the Second World War. Rather than presenting a meek and soft woman, Rosie is strong, clenching her fist to show her strength and women’s abilities to aid the war effort. This image became iconic for its originality in a time when women were expected to be housewives while the men went and worked. This poster was turning against those stereotypes as women were fighting to help with the war effort, taking on jobs that they would not have previously done. Rosie’s pose with her raising her fist in a so-called ‘masculine’ stance with the caption ‘Yes we can!’ shows the power of women. This image has shown women globally that they are just as capable as men and that they can work just as hard and genuinely shaped the employment landscape after the end of the war.
An Anthology of Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement called ‘Sisterhood is Powerful’ had the image on the cover which was designed by the editor, Robin Morgan. As this book was widely available at its time of publication during second-wave feminism and has remained in print for over thirty years, the image has become instantly recognisable across the world.
The collection of writings in ‘sisterhood is powerful’ addressed several major issues facing women at the time such as discrimination and sexism in the workplace. The title was a phrase coined by Kathie Sarachild, a member of New York Radical Women like Morgan. The group ran between 1967-69 and held many public and high-profile protests. It was made up of young women who had been radicalised during the Civil Rights Movement and resistance to the Vietnam War who felt that views towards women were still condescending.