Author: Bettina Aptheker

BETTINA APTHEKER is a professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her most recent book is a memoir, Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech and Became a Feminist Rebel. She was a member of the U.S. Communist Party from 1962 to 1981. An activist for peace and social justice for 40 years, she continues her activism today with a lesbian sensibility, the Jewish dedication to tikkun olam, and a commitment to a Buddhist spiritual path.

Keeping the Communist Party Straight, 1940s-1980s

GROWING UP IN A COMMUNIST FAMILY and in Communist circles in New York City in the late 1940s and 1950s sexuality of any kind was never discussed, ever, in any context, for any reason. I am not laying claim to any kind of universal experience in saying this; I am only commenting on the absence of discussion in my own experience.