Ti-Grace Atkinson

Last updated
Ti-Grace Atkinson
Born (1938-11-09) November 9, 1938 (age 82)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
OccupationAuthor, theorist
SubjectFeminism, LGBT movement,
Literary movementFeminist, radical feminist

Ti-Grace Atkinson (born November 9, 1938 as Grace Atkinson) is an American radical feminist author and philosopher. [1]


Atkinson was born into a prominent Louisiana family. Named for her grandmother, Grace, the "Ti" is Cajun French for petite, meaning little. [2] [3]

Atkinson earned her BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1964. While still in Philadelphia, she helped found the Institute of Contemporary Art, acting as its first director, and was sculpture critic for the periodical ARTnews. She later moved to New York City where, in 1967, she entered the Ph.D program in Philosophy at Columbia University, where she studied with the philosopher and art critic Arthur Danto. [4] Atkinson later moved on to study the work of Frege with the philosopher Charles Parsons. She taught at several colleges and universities over the years, including the Pratt Institute, Case Western Reserve University and Tufts University. [5]

As an undergraduate, Atkinson read Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex , and struck up a correspondence with de Beauvoir, who suggested that she contact Betty Friedan. [6] Atkinson thus became an early member of the National Organization for Women, which Friedan had co-founded, serving on the national board, and becoming the New York chapter president in 1967. [7] Atkinson's time with the organization was tumultuous, including a row with the national leadership over her attempts to defend and promote Valerie Solanas and her SCUM Manifesto in the wake of the Andy Warhol shooting. [8] In 1968 she left the organization because it would not confront issues like abortion and marriage inequalities. [4] She founded the October 17th Movement, which later became The Feminists, a radical feminist group active until 1973. By 1971 she had written several pamphlets on feminism, was a member of the Daughters of Bilitis and was advocating specifically political lesbianism. [9] Her book Amazon Odyssey was published in 1974. [10]

"Sisterhood," Atkinson famously said, "is powerful. It kills. Mostly sisters." [11]

In 2013 Atkinson, along with Carol Hanisch, Kathy Scarbrough and Kathie Sarachild, initiated "Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Criticism of 'Gender'", which they described as an "open statement from 48 radical feminists from seven countries". [12] In August 2014 Michelle Goldberg in The New Yorker described it as expressing their "alarm" at "threats and attacks, some of them physical, on individuals and organizations daring to challenge the currently fashionable concept of gender." [13]


Related Research Articles

Radical feminism is a perspective within feminism that calls for a radical reordering of society in which male supremacy is eliminated in all social and economic contexts, while recognizing that women's experiences are also affected by other social divisions such as in race, class, and sexual orientation. The ideology and movement emerged in the 1960s.

Valerie Solanas American radical feminist, author, stalker and attempted murderer

Valerie Jean Solanas was an American radical feminist and author known for writing the SCUM Manifesto, which she self-published in 1967 and for her attempt to murder Andy Warhol in 1968 with a gun.

Simone de Beauvoir French philosopher, social theorist, and activist

Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist, and social theorist. Though she did not consider herself a philosopher, she had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory.

Betty Friedan 20th-century American feminist, writer, and activist

Betty Friedan was an American feminist writer and activist. A leading figure in the women's movement in the United States, her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is often credited with sparking the second wave of American feminism in the 20th century. In 1966, Friedan co-founded and was elected the first president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), which aimed to bring women "into the mainstream of American society now [in] fully equal partnership with men".

<i>SCUM Manifesto</i> Book written by Valerie Solanas

SCUM Manifesto is a radical feminist manifesto by Valerie Solanas, published in 1967. It argues that men have ruined the world, and that it is up to women to fix it. To achieve this goal, it suggests the formation of SCUM, an organization dedicated to overthrowing society and eliminating the male sex. The Manifesto has often been described as a satire or parody, especially due to its parallels with Freud's theory of femininity. It has been reprinted at least 100 times in English, translated into 13 languages, and excerpted several times.

Christina Hoff Sommers American author and philosopher

Christina Marie Hoff Sommers is an American author and philosopher. Specializing in ethics, she is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Sommers is known for her critique of contemporary feminism. Her work includes the books Who Stole Feminism? (1994) and The War Against Boys (2000). She also hosts a video blog called The Factual Feminist.

Equality feminism is a subset of the overall feminism movement that focuses on the basic similarities between men and women, and whose ultimate goal is the equality of the sexes in all domains. This includes economic and political equality, equal access within the workplace, freedom from oppressive gender stereotyping, and an androgynous worldview.

Second-wave feminism was a period of feminist activity that began in the early 1960s and lasted roughly two decades. It took place throughout the Western world, and aimed to increase equality for women by building on previous feminist gains.

Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. Existentialism is a philosophical and cultural movement which holds that the starting point of philosophical thinking must be the individual and the experiences of the individual, that moral thinking and scientific thinking together are not sufficient for understanding all of human existence, and, therefore, that a further set of categories, governed by the norm of authenticity, is necessary to understand human existence. This philosophy analyzes relationships between the individual and things, or other human beings, and how they limit or condition choice.

The Feminists, also known as Feminists—A Political Organization to Annihilate Sex Roles, was a second-wave radical feminist group active in New York City from 1968 to 1973.

Carol Hanisch is a radical feminist and was an important member of New York Radical Women and Redstockings. She is best known for popularizing the phrase the personal is political in a 1970 essay of the same name. However, Hanisch does not take responsibility of the phrase, stating in her 2006 updated essay, with a new introduction, that did not name it that, or in fact use it in the essay at all. Instead she claims that the title was done by the editors of Notes from the second year: Women's Liberation, Shulie Firestone and Anne Koedt. She also conceived the 1968 Miss America protest and was one of the four women who hung a women's liberation banner over the balcony at the Miss America Pageant, disrupting the proceedings.

<i>Sexual Politics</i> 1970 book by Kate Millett

Sexual Politics is a 1970 book by Kate Millett, based on her PhD dissertation. It is regarded as a classic of feminism and one of radical feminism's key texts. Sexual Politics analyses the subjugation of women in prominent art and literature in the 20th century, specifically looking at the ubiquity of male domination in culture.

Radical lesbianism is a lesbian movement that challenges the status quo of heterosexuality and mainstream feminism. It arose in part because mainstream feminism did not actively include or fight for lesbian rights. The movement was started by lesbian feminist groups in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s. A Canadian movement followed in the 1970s, which added momentum. As it continued to gain popularity, radical lesbianism spread throughout Canada, the United States, and France. The French-based movement, Front des Lesbiennes Radicales, or FLR, organized in 1981 under the name Front des Lesbiennes Radicales. Other movements, such as Radicalesbians, have also stemmed off of the larger radical lesbianism movement. In addition to being associated with social movements, radical lesbianism also offers its own ideology, similar to how feminism functions in both capacities.

Anne Koedt is an American radical feminist and New York-based author of The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm, a classic feminist work on women's sexuality. She was connected to the group New York Radical Women and was a founding member of New York Radical Feminists.

Nancy Bauer is an American philosopher specializing in feminist philosophy, existentialism and phenomenology, and the work of Simone de Beauvoir. She was recently Chair of the Philosophy Department at Tufts University and is currently Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Philosophy as well as the Dean of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts. Her interests include methodology in philosophy, feminism, metaphysics, social/political/moral philosophy, philosophy of language, phenomenology, and philosophy in film.

Kathie Sarachild, born Kathie Amatniek in 1943, is an American writer and radical feminist. In 1968, she took the last name "Sarachild" after her mother Sara, coined the phrase "Sisterhood is Powerful" in a flier she wrote for the keynote speech she gave for New York Radical Women's first public action at the convocation of the Jeannette Rankin Brigade, was one of four women who held the Women's Liberation banner at the Miss America protest, and had her paper "A Program for Radical Feminist Consciousness-Raising" presented at the First National Women's Liberation Conference outside Chicago on November 27, 1968. She was a member of New York Radical Women. In February 1969, Kathie led a feminist group that was soon to be called Redstockings in their disruption of the New York State Abortion Reform Hearing, at which women first demanded to testify about their own abortions. In March of the same year, Redstockings held the first ever abortion speakout, which became a model for abortion rights activists across the United States.

Feminist views on sexuality widely vary. Many feminists, particularly radical feminists, are highly critical of what they see as sexual objectification and sexual exploitation in the media and society. Radical feminists are often opposed to the sex industry, including opposition to prostitution and pornography. Other feminists define themselves as sex-positive feminists and believe that a wide variety of expressions of female sexuality can be empowering to women when they are freely chosen. Some feminists support efforts to reform the sex industry to become less sexist, such as the feminist pornography movement.

Kathryn Sophia Belle

Kathryn Sophia Belle, formerly known as Kathryn T. Gines, is an American philosopher. She is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University. Much of her work has focused on increasing diversity within philosophy, and she is the founding director of the Collegium of Black Women Philosophers.

Bonnie J. Mann is an American philosopher and professor of philosophy at the University of Oregon. She is known for her expertise on feminist philosophy. She is co-editor of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy.

Tove Pettersen is a Norwegian feminist philosopher. She is currently Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oslo (UiO), Norway. Pettersen specializes in Feminist Ethics, the Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir, and Feminist History of Philosophy. She has contributed to the development of care ethis with her theory on mature care. Her work on forgotten women philosophers and on Beauvoir's ethics and humanism have received attention both in Norway and abroad.


  1. Sue Wilkinson, Celia Kitzinger (1993). Heterosexuality: a feminism and psychology reader. Sage Publications. ISBN   0-8039-8823-0.
  2. "An 'Oppressed Majority' Demands Its Rights", by Sara Davidson, Life Magazine , 1969. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
  3. David De Leon (1994). Leaders from the 1960s: A Biographical Sourcebook of American Activism. Greenwood Press. ISBN   0-313-27414-2.
  4. 1 2 Lynne E. Ford, "Ti-Grace Atkinson" entry, Encyclopedia of Women and American Politics, Infobase Publishing, January 1, 2009, pp. 40–41, accessed August 2013.
  5. "Ti-Grace Atkinson", Tufts University Philosophy Faculty page, Wayback Machine archive, accessed August 31, 2014.
  6. O'Dea, Suzanne. From Suffrage to the Senate: an encyclopedia of American women in politics. ABC-CLIO, Inc. 1999.
  7. Movement Chronology, Civil War-Present
  8. http://www.glennhorowitz.com/dobkin/letters_correspondence_with_valerie_solanas
  9. Kate Bedford and Ara Wilson Lesbian Feminist Chronology: 1971–1976 Archived 2007-07-17 at the Wayback Machine
  10. Linda J. LeMoncheck (1997). Loose Women, Lecherous Men: a feminist philosophy of sex . Oxford University Press. p.  229. ISBN   0-19-510555-9. Amazon Odyssey Grace Atkinson 1974.
  11. Faludi, Susan (April 15, 2013). "Death of a Revolutionary". The New Yorker.
  12. Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Criticism of 'Gender'", at Meeting Ground online, August 12, 2013, updated with more signatures September 20, 2013.
  13. Michelle Goldberg, What Is a Woman? The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism, The New Yorker , August 4, 2014.