BBC Radio 4 brings together the founders of “Spare Rib” in a fascinating edition of “The Reunion”. The programme charts the creation of “Spare Rib”, a magazine created in the 1970’s by women, for women. “Spare Rib” sought to challenge the status quo and empower women to take control of their own destinies. Bringing together five of the women who created “Spare Rib”, including editors Marsha Rowe and Rosie Boycott, photographer Angela Phillips and Anna Raeburn, who wrote the advice column, “The Reunion” charts the difficulties of founding and establishing a counter-cultural magazine at a time when a woman still needed her husband or father’s permission to get a mortgage. Producer Kate Taylor states:
Spare Rib was a magazine with a difference: as well as talking about fashion and food, it was packed with articles on women’s rights, domestic violence, working conditions, sexuality and a column called Spare Parts which told readers how to put up their own shelves and mend their own shoes. The magazine aimed to discuss life, not “lifestyle” and in doing so, managed to outlast many of its competitors in the non-mainstream press.
This programme will be of interest to anyone who wants to understand the challenges involved in setting up and running a magazine, from deciding on a name to the messy business of generating revenue without compromising the values of your publication. It offers a fascinating insight into the experiences of women who were brave enough to do things differently. Listen again here (the programme is available for the next 12 months). For more content like this, subscribe to our mailing list.