top of page

Lavender Menace

The phrase “lavender menace” was originally derogatory, referring to how the feminist movement was highly associated with lesbians in the late 1960s. In 1970 it was reclaimed by a group of radical lesbian feminists who held a zap protest at the Congress to Unite Women in New York City to protest the congress’ lack of lesbian representation.

Protestors wore t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase “Lavender Menace” and carried placards, storming the stage and taking over the event. The following day, many were invited to run workshops on lesbian issues.

This event was a key turning point in second-wave feminism and a powerful example of the power of direct action. We’ve come a long way in how we think about feminism and queer liberation since the 70s, but this incident was an important step towards building a more intersectional women's rights movement.

bottom of page