The return of Spare Rib

Legendary feminist magazine Spare Rib is set for a comeback as journalist Charlotte Raven looks to set up a website and a glossy magazine focusing on life rather than lifestyle.

Raven is ready to launch the website this month and is still seeking cash to add the print magazine some time in the autumn.

Now it just so happens that I have a copy of the original Spare Rib’s 10th Birthday Issue back in July 1982 and it makes very interesting reading, as it always did. It had a sharp political edge, covering race, Irish issues and South Africa as well as gender, and the 10th anniversary issue has features on Women Who Changed Our Lives, Sex In Long-Term Relationships and Writings from US Radical Women of Colour.

It’s difficult to realise just how much opposition and derision the collective who ran the magazine faced back then but this is an extract from a piece by a Daily Star reporter in October 1979: “But every revolution has its extremists. And the way-out wild women of this particular campaign are the 14 young ladies who run a magazine called Spare Rib. A Star writer put on her baggiest sweater and flattest shoes, and paid a visit to the Spare Rib joint. They scrub their earnest faces. They never wear make-up. And they never, EVER wear bras. These are the Fervent Fourteen – the young ladies who produce a Women’s Lib magazine called Spare Rib.”

Now that would be a good masthead, Spare Rib, For Way-Out Wild Women. I’m looking forward to seeing Spare Rib back in the newsagents, let’s hope WH Smith doesn’t ban it this time round.