I've Got a Proposition, Goes Something Like This:
A Brief Herstory of The Big She-Bang
by Beth Puma and Kate Wadkins
In late 2003 there had been many rumblings of the girls and women in the Long Island DIY punk and activist community wanting to organize on their own. Modern Times Collective had been around for years, ideas for Freespace were quickly developing, and the Freewheel Bike Collective had really taken off. A lot of folks were engaged in a variety of projects at this time, ranging from animal rights to various social justice groups. The younger women involved in the community wanted to organize in a more direct way, to deal not only with all of the social justice issues they were fighting for, but for their own space in this creative and active community.
A small group of girls decided that they wanted to focus on self-taught, skill-share workshops as a stepping stone to self-empowerment. They began with a series of skill-shares on knitting/crocheting, playing guitar and bass, silkscreening, and bike maintenance, among others. They met in each other's houses and in Argyle Park, Babylon. As with many other feminist collectives, their shared experience with their immediate community brought about common frustrations. Similar to consciousness-raising groups of the 70's and riot grrrl meetings of the 90's, they started to work from their own experience, and identify the sexism they experienced on an every day level in their surrounding community. These women named their group the Long Island Womyn’s Collective (LIWC).