Sheila is a
British socialist feminist theorist and writer. Born in Leeds, she had a keen
interest in social history from a young age. She attended St Hilda’s College, Oxford
and the University of London.
out teaching in comprehensive schools and Adult and Higher Education. She became
involved in various socialist circles including the Labour Party’s youth wing
and the Young Socialists, where she was introduced to Karl Marx’s ideas. As Sheila
found herself disengaged from the direction of party politics, she immersed
herself in a variety of left-wing campaigns, including writing for the radical
political newspaper Black Dwarf.
at Ruskin in the 1960s, Sheila was one of the founders of the History Workshop
Movement. She oversaw the first Women’s Liberation Conference at Ruskin and, in 1969, published her influential pamphlet Women’s Liberation and the New Politics,
which argued that socialist theory needed to consider the oppression of women
in cultural as well as economic terms.
In 2004 she
was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She was Professor of
Gender and Labour History at the University of Manchester until her retirement