Jump to navigation Jump to search

Cell 16 was a militant feminist organization in the United States known for its program of celibacy, separation from men and self-defense training (specifically karate).[1][2] Considered too extreme by many mainstream feminists, the organization acted as a sort of hard left vanguard.[3]



Founded in 1968 by Roxanne Dunbar, Cell 16 has been cited as the first organization to advance the concept of separatist feminism.[2][4] Cultural Historian Alice Echols cites Cell 16 as an example of feminist heterosexual separatism, as the group never advocated lesbianism as a political strategy. Echols credits Cell 16's work for "helping establishing the theoretical foundation for lesbian separatism.[2] In No More Fun and Games, the organization's radical feminist periodical, Cell Members Roxanne Dunbar and Lisa Leghorn advised women to "separate from men who are not consciously working for female liberation" and advised periods of celibacy, rather than lesbian relationships, which they considered to be "nothing more than a personal solution."[5]


In the Summer of 1968, Dunbar placed an ad in a Boston, Massachusetts underground newspaper calling for a "Female Liberation Front." The original membership also included Hillary Langhorst, Sandy Bernard, Dana Densmore, the daughter of Donna Allen, Betsy Warrior, Ellen O'Donnell, Jayne West, Mary Anne Weathers, Maureen Maynes, Gail Murray, and Abby Rockefeller.[6][7] The group's name was meant "to emphasize that they were only one cell of an organic movement" and referenced the address of their meetings — 16 Lexington Avenue.[8]

No More Fun and Games ceased publication in 1973.[9] Cell 16 disbanded in 1973 as well.[7]


  • Pearson, Kyra. Mapping rhetorical interventions in "national" feminist histories: Second wave feminism and Ain't I a Woman. (1999) [1][dead link]
  • Duke University has digitized vol. 1, no. 2 of the journal "No More Fun and Games" [2]

Further reading

  • The Female state. Cambridge, Massachusetts : Cell 16. (1970) OCLC 478356868