Jo Freeman A.K.A. Joreen

“I was with SCLC—the Southern Christian Leadership Conference—in the South. Many of us who started this new movement had come out of civil rights, and absorbed its ideas, so that it shaped the women’s movement. In some ways, the women’s liberation movement was the bastard child of the civil rights movement.”


Jo Freeman  (A.K.A. Joreen) is an activist, writer, political scientist and lawyer. As a student at the University of California, Berkeley in the 1960s, she became active in organizations working for civil liberties and the civil rights movement. She went on to do voter registration and community organizing in Alabama and Mississippi, and was an early organizer of the women's liberation movement in Chicago.  She founded the “Voice of the Women’s Liberation Movement,” the movement’s first newsletter, in 1968.

Freeman authored several classic feminist articles (including “The Bitch Manifesto” and “The Tyranny of Structurelessness”) as well as important papers on social movements and political parties. She has also written extensively about women, particularly on law and public policy toward women, and women in mainstream politics. Among her books are The Politics of Women’s Liberation (1975), A Room at a Time: How Women Entered Party Politics (2000), both won prizes for scholarship from the Political Science Association.