Ti-Grace Atkinson
BornGrace Atkinson
(1938-11-09) November 9, 1938 (age 83)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
  • Writer
  • philosopher
SubjectRadical feminism

Grace Atkinson (born November 9, 1938), better known as Ti-Grace Atkinson, is an American radical feminist writer and philosopher.[1]

Atkinson was born into a prominent Louisiana family. Named after her grandmother, Grace, the "Ti" is Cajun French for petite, meaning little.[2][3]

Atkinson earned her BFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1964. While still in Philadelphia, she helped found the Institute of Contemporary Art, acting as its first director, and was sculpture critic for the periodical ARTnews. She later moved to New York City where, in 1967, she entered the Ph.D program in Philosophy at Columbia University, where she studied with the philosopher and art critic Arthur Danto.[4] Atkinson later moved on to study the work of Frege with the philosopher Charles Parsons. She taught at several colleges and universities over the years, including the Pratt Institute, Case Western Reserve University and Tufts University.[5]

As an undergraduate, Atkinson read Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, and struck up a correspondence with de Beauvoir, who suggested that she contact Betty Friedan.[6] Atkinson thus became an early member of the National Organization for Women, which Friedan had co-founded, serving on the national board, and becoming the New York chapter president in 1967.[7] Atkinson's time with the organization was tumultuous, including a row with the national leadership over her attempts to defend and promote Valerie Solanas and her SCUM Manifesto in the wake of the Andy Warhol shooting.[8] In 1968 she left the organization because it would not confront issues like abortion and marriage inequalities.[4] She founded the October 17th Movement, which later became The Feminists, a radical feminist group active until 1973. By 1971 she had written several pamphlets on feminism, was a member of the Daughters of Bilitis and was advocating specifically political lesbianism.[9] Her book Amazon Odyssey was published in 1974.[10]

"Sisterhood," Atkinson famously said, "is powerful. It kills. Mostly sisters."[11]

In 2013 Atkinson, along with Carol Hanisch, Kathy Scarbrough and Kathie Sarachild, initiated "Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Criticism of 'Gender'", which they described as an "open statement from 48 radical feminists from seven countries".[12] In August 2014 Michelle Goldberg in The New Yorker described it as expressing their "alarm" at "threats and attacks, some of them physical, on individuals and organizations daring to challenge the currently fashionable concept of gender."[13]



  1. ^ Sue Wilkinson, Celia Kitzinger (1993). Heterosexuality: a feminism and psychology reader. Sage Publications. ISBN 0-8039-8823-0.
  2. ^ "An 'Oppressed Majority' Demands Its Rights", by Sara Davidson, Life Magazine, 1969. Retrieved February 16, 2008.
  3. ^ David De Leon (1994). Leaders from the 1960s: A Biographical Sourcebook of American Activism. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-27414-2.
  4. ^ a b Lynne E. Ford, "Ti-Grace Atkinson" entry, Encyclopedia of Women and American Politics, Infobase Publishing, January 1, 2009, pp. 40–41, accessed August 2013.
  5. ^ "Ti-Grace Atkinson", Tufts University Philosophy Faculty page, Wayback Machine archive, accessed August 31, 2014.
  6. ^ O'Dea, Suzanne. From Suffrage to the Senate: an encyclopedia of American women in politics. ABC-CLIO, Inc. 1999.
  7. ^ Movement Chronology, Civil War-Present
  8. ^ http://www.glennhorowitz.com/dobkin/letters_correspondence_with_valerie_solanas
  9. ^ Kate Bedford and Ara Wilson Lesbian Feminist Chronology: 1971–1976 Archived 2007-07-17 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Linda J. LeMoncheck (1997). Loose Women, Lecherous Men: a feminist philosophy of sex. Oxford University Press. p. 229. ISBN 0-19-510555-9. Amazon Odyssey Grace Atkinson 1974.
  11. ^ Faludi, Susan (April 15, 2013). "Death of a Revolutionary". The New Yorker.
  12. ^ Forbidden Discourse: The Silencing of Feminist Criticism of 'Gender'", at Meeting Ground online, August 12, 2013, updated with more signatures September 20, 2013.
  13. ^ Michelle Goldberg, What Is a Woman? The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism, The New Yorker, August 4, 2014.