Protests at the Miss World contest in London 1970 attracted headlines around the world.
This book portrays the new and vibrant women's liberation movement of the early 70s. It tells how women, protested inside and outside the Albert Hall, who they were, what took them into the women's liberation movement, how they organised, why they were protesting and of women's arrests and subsequent trial. Misbehaving includes a chapter on the global beauty industry today and the role of data surveillance in determining (or influencing) our choices ranging from makeup to electoral candidates.
Over 80 photos and cartoons enliven the text throughout.
The Director, Producer and writer of the film Misbehaviour as well at others who made documentaries about Miss World 1970 write about their motivations and intentions. Rights to that film have been sold to most European countries, the USA and Australia.
It was the first thing that really turned me on to feminism, so moving and exciting, and of course, I never looked back. Lynne Segal
Misbehaving gives us the story of the protesters against Miss World Contest in the words of the rebels themselves. Through the wonderful diversity of their personal and political life stories it does something more. By chronicling the influences that led them to take action, it vividly reveals how an extraordinary range of sources contributed to the emergence of a movement for Women's Liberation. This book provides insights into why so many young women got involved and illuminates the anger, excitement, creativity and fun so evident in the early 1970s. Misbehaving is a must read for veteran feminists who are growing weary, for the vaguely curious, for historical researchers and for the dissident young who need an optimism boost. It will cheer you all up. Sheila Rowbotham
'Humour was our weapon, used effectively in posters, pamphlets cartoons and theatre. It illuminates how we fought for the changes we wanted to see in the world, and are still fighting for. Our stories and images were part of subversive activity at the time - and will inspire the reader with a sense of what those exciting times were really like'.
Edited by Sue Finch, Jenny Fortune, Jane Grant, Jo Robinson and Sarah Wilson
Published by Merlin Press distributed by Central Books
ISBN 780850 367676
The tactics employed at the Miss World protest 1970 and the subsequent trial mirrored the approach used in earlier protests and movements, such as the 1968 action by women in the USA outside the Miss America contest, and in the civil rights movement in the States and the 'Deeds not words' approach of Suffragettes long before that. Direct action as a tactic is having a resurgence in expressions of resistance today – across the world.
The 1970 protest stands on the shoulders of the women in the USA who protested outside the Miss America contest in 1968.
The protest against a sexist spectacle in the Albert Hall became an iconic moment of resistance in women's history that burst into the living rooms of a world-wide TV audience. Many women said they became feminists that night.
The history and significance of the protest have received considerable attention over the last 50 years: in Philippa Walker's 2002 documentary Miss World 1970: Feminists and Flour Bombs, Sue MacGregor's 2002 Reunion Programme Miss World 1970, the comedy drama Misbehaviour feature film and Hannah Berryman's documentary Miss World 1970: Beauty Queens and Bedlam, 2020.