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Watch Women online: Episode 1 Libbers

As recently as 40 years ago, women were systematically oppressed both in society and in the eyes of the law. Libbers tells the story of the ideological development of feminist politics and explains how impossibly constrained women's lives were until well into the last century. Well-known feminist ideologues explain how and why they became involved in the women's liberation movement, describing the battles they fought both privately at home and on the broader political stage. The women have all lived passionate and unusual lives and, in a set of candid interviews, they explain the crucial role of consciousness-raising, the direct action they took against beauty pageants and women's magazines and discuss the sexual impact of the movement from orgasms to experimenting with lesbianism. The film also includes the last interview with novelist Marilyn French, who died in May 2009. The programme features interviews with key figures from the movement from the US and the UK, including Ann Oakley, Susan Brownmiller, Germaine Greer, Kate Millet, Sheila Rowbotham, Lynn Alderson and Robin Morgan.

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