Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Kemet Women and Events: Victory Roar

July 4, 1989- Twenty five years ago, a group of feminists, led by Delilah Wu, did the unthinkable: they started a magazine for women, published by women—and the first issue sold out in a week. The magazine was called Victory Roar.

Before the years leading up to the birth of Victory Roar, women had few legal rights when it came to divorce or reproduction, and were expected to aspire solely to marriage and motherhood. Job listings were segregated (“Help wanted, male”). There was no battered women's shelters, rape-crisis centers, and no terms such as sexual harassment and domestic violence.

Few women ran magazines, even when the readership was entirely female, and they weren’t permitted to write the stories they felt were important; the focus had to be on fashion, recipes, cosmetics, or how to lure a man and keep him interested.

By age 28, Delilah Wu had forged a reputation as a smart, savvy writer with her 1987 exposé  Little Vicky Got Herself A Pill  about the introduction of birth-control pills in Kemet. Wu was a staff writer at Adam Magazine. Radicalized by her birth-control pill exposé, Wu started spending more time thinking, writing, and giving talks about feminism.

In 1989, she helped launch Victory Roar, which became the first periodical ever to be created, owned, and operated entirely by women. A thirty-page excerpt of its preview issue was published in the March 21, 1989 issue of Adam magazine.