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NEWS & IDEAS

MAKING HISTORY: The Furies Collective

In honor of Women's History Month, we are celebrating with 31 days of women's history! Every day in March, we will highlight an historic moment, as told through the personal stories of our MAKERS. Today we highlight the women's group and housing collective "The Furies," a group formed in 1971 to be a community for lesbian feminists, as told through its co-founder MAKER Rita Mae Brown

Brown, author of the groundbreaking lesbian novel Rubyfruit Jungle, co-founded The Furies, headquarted in Washington, D.C., with the purpose of providing a "safe space" for women in the wake of gay liberation in the late 1960s and 70s. The group, which also included MAKER Charlotte Bunch as a member, published a monthly national newspaper and even offered car repair lessons, leading a trend of similar housing collectives for women which sprouted up during the same era. Per Brown, these smaller collectives and women-only environments led to larger festivals completely run by women.

In her words:

"It was very exciting, and I guess the word today that people would use would be 'empowering.'"