June is Rainbow Book Month
About...The Friedman Feminist Press Collection
Friedman’s love of literature by and about women and feminism led friends and family to establish the Friedman Feminist Press Collection in 2013 to encourage students and scholars to read and study books published by feminist presses that were integral to the development of feminist movement but may no longer be in print. The largest collection of books in the Rocky Mountain West published by feminist presses, the FFPC includes books and periodicals published by the Women’s Press Collective, Shameless Hussy Press, Diana Press, Daughters, Inc., Naiad Press, and Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, Spinsters Ink, The Feminist Press, Seal Press, and Firebrand Press.
Providing original sources in feminist/lesbian literature and second-wave feminism, the collection archives multi-genre works of fiction, poetry, memoirs, and essays by feminist publishers of the 1960s through the 1980s that brought women and women's words out into the world. The feminist press movement not only pushed the edge of mainstream publishing to reflect feminist and lesbian lives in print, it also formed an essential arm of the growing women's liberation movement, furthering activism committed to the larger political and social changes that advanced women's lives. .
The Friedman Feminist Press Collection was established to encourage students and scholars to read and study books published by feminist presses that were integral to the development of feminist movement but may no longer be in print. These books provide important documentation of the evolution of feminist strategies, debates, and events. The Collection is named in memory of June Friedman, a 1981 CSU graduate and member of The Feminist Group, a student activist organization. A complementary collection, The Friedman Memorial Collection, is housed at the Poudre River Public Library District for books that inspire and support women's achievements.
Friedman Feminist Press Collection materials were originally donated from the private collection of CSU alumna Dr. Kayann Short, whose dissertation examined the development of feminist publishing, and on behalf of CSU's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Ally Resource Center from director K. Foula Dimopoulos. The collection has continued to accept donations of books and funds for outreach and acquisition. Class visits are welcome and faculty members are encouraged to create course assignments using the collection's resources.
The Friedman Feminist Press Collection includes publications by the Women’s Press Collective, Shameless Hussy Press, Diana Press, Daughters, Inc., Naiad Press, Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, Spinsters Ink, The Feminist Press, Seal Press, Firebrand Press and many others. Providing original sources in feminist/lesbian literature and second-wave feminism, the collection archives multi-genre works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, and essay by feminist publishers of the 1960s - 19 80s that brought women and women’s words out into the world.
This unique collection, housed in the Archives and Special Collections department at Colorado State University, also includes materials related to the study of feminist publishing and second-wave feminism. The Friedman Feminist Press Collection was established to encourage students and scholars to read and study books published by feminist presses that were integral to the development of feminist movement but may no longer be in print.
Books in the Friedman Feminist Press Collection were donated from the private collection of CSU alumna Dr. Kayann Short, whose dissertation examined the development of feminist publishing, and on behalf of CSU’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Questioning, and Ally Resource Center from director K. Foula Dimopoulos.
About... June Friedman
Nov. 29, 1958 – June 11, 1982
In the 1970s, Colorado State University student activists concerned with the rights and roles of women joined their efforts to form The Feminist Group. Working from their cubicle office in the basement of Lory Student Center, this student organization published a newsletter, organized women’s film festivals, and wrote guest editorials about campus safety for women, reproductive rights, and the newly flowering field of women’s studies. In January 1979, the group convinced CSU administrators to shut down the campus Playboy Club in Ingersoll Hall, a so-called student tradition that clearly needed challenging in its sexist representation of women’s roles and rights. The Feminist Group also organized the first Take Back the Night March in Ft Collins on November 9, 1979, marching from the campus library past the dormitories to the streets of downtown bars to protest violence against women.
As a student at CSU from 1979 to 1981, June Friedman was an active member of The Feminist Group. An agronomy major in the early days of women entering the sciences, June understood how gender stereotypes, sexual harassment, and glass ceilings prevented women from achieving their highest goals. With other Feminist Group members and their faculty mentors and role models, she worked on what was then called a “chilly climate for women” on campus. To put this chilly climate in perspective, in 1977, in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, 284 men and 401 women earned bachelor’s degrees; 45 men and 24 women earned Master’s degrees; and 10 men and 0 women earned PhDs.
As Feminist Group members met in their tiny basement office, they dreamed of a world where women were valued equally with men. They published The Feminist Newsletter, including June’s essay, “A Touching Story,” about the importance of skin-to-skin contact in human relationships. June was an avid reader, especially of newly rediscovered works by feminist foremothers like Charlotte Perkins Gilman. With other Feminist Group members, she organized a feminist book group to read works like Marilyn French’s The Women’s Room and Robin Morgan’s poetry collection, Monster. Over potluck dinners, the group discussed how such books inspired the paths they themselves hoped to travel someday.
After June graduated in May 1981, she left Ft. Collins for a Denver suburb to start an exciting new job in a soil lab as an environmental technician. June loved being outdoors and hiking with friends. June’s twin sister Carrie remembers the strong young woman whose sense of adventure took her from her urban upbringing in New York City to the mountains of Colorado.
June’s future was bright, but a year after graduation, her life was ended by the very kind of violence against which she had marched as a student. Although her murderer has not yet been brought to justice, a murder case is never closed and new technology brings hope that someday justice will be served. June’s friends and family have honored her memory through the creation of two library collections of books that place women’s lives at the center rather than the margins of the world: The Friedman Feminist Press Collection at CSU’s Archives and Special Collections and the Friedman Memorial Collection of the Ft. Collins Poudre River Library District. These collections are meant to inspire women to challenge the limitations they face in their lives as June and other Feminist Group members did together more than 30 years ago.