Take Back the Night

Primary Artist: Terry Forman

Created: San Francisco Collective, 1990

Medium: Offset printed

Dimensions: 17.5″ x 22.5″

Take Back the Night was a response to the murder of fourteen women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989 and was a clarion call by women to end violence against women. Its purpose? To shine light on the fact that women couldn’t walk at night without being afraid of an attack. The first mass demonstrations under this slogan began on college campuses, but it quickly spread to cities across the US and then the world and to encompass the overall question of gender violence.

In some ways it was a precursor to the #MeToo movement. Take Back the Night’s logo derives from the combination of the moon (a historic symbol meaning “woman,” and the traditional women’s symbol. In this demonstration, women not only marched against violence to one’s person, but the impact of patriarchy in general. It also celebrated women’s resistance.

Image:Women’s symbol on a sign pinned to a tree, blood flows from a bullet hole in the women’s symbol. The moon, in black and white, a symbol of women’s strength.

Words: Remember Montreal! In Solidarity with Women Around the World. TAKE BACK THE NIGHT. Speakers: June Jordan, poet and activist; Mona Tamimi (Union of Palestinian Women); Diana Russell, Activist and writer on violence against women.

Color: black, dark blue, lavender, and red ink on white paper

Event: Saturday, Dec. 8, 1990, at Stanyan & Oak, San Francisco, CA, Women only, 6pm.

Sponsors: Take Back the Night Coalition, Berkeley Clearinghouse on Femicide, Casa de las Madres, Lesbians and Bisexuals in Action, Open Forum, San Mateo Battered Women’s Services, Women Against Imperialism


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