Red Star: Organ of the Red Women's Detachment, nos. 3-6
New York: Red Women's Detachment, 1970-71. Four of only six issues published of the organ of the Red Women’s Detachment (RWD). The RWD was established in 1968 in the Lower East-side by a group of mostly welfare mothers enamored by the Great Cultural Revolution and Marxist-Leninist-Maoist thought. During its first year, the group primarily distributed propaganda promoting the proletarian revolution and armed struggle as the means to achieve women’s liberation.
On March 8, 1970, the group joined the newly formed Marxist-Leninist Party and organized itself into three sections: Mao Tse Tung Thought Study Groups (legal), Martial Arts (Self Defense) Collectives (legal-semi-legal), and Women's Armed Defense Groups (clandestine). It also began publishing its organ, Red Star, which lasted for six issues, and which contained the group’s increasingly unorthodox views. These included opposition to birth control ("genocide in the guise of freedom"), gay liberation ("We don't want men who are fags"), prostitution ("One of the first tasks of the dictatorship of the proletariat is the elimination of prostitution and enforcement of equitable marriage laws favorable to women..."), etc. The group increasingly clashed with other feminists and gay liberation groups, with prominent feminist Roxanne Dunbar issuing an apologetic and self-critical letter to the women’s liberation movement for distributing Red Women’s Detachment material. The Marxist-Leninist Party and the Red Women’s Detachment dissolved themselves in a pamphlet titled Origins of the Class War Tendency in Nov. 1972 and reconstituted themselves as Class War.
Issue 3 is composed of stapled 11" x 8 ½” sheets, 8 p. The other three issues are tabloid format printed in black on newsprint, 4 p., 8 p., 8 p. Issue six is printed dos-à-do with issue six of the Marxist-Leninist Party’s newspaper, the Communist. All Near Fine. Item #9430