Created By: Radical Wellington Walking Tour
Painted bright pink and purple, the Woman's Place was established in June, 1981, as an independent bookstore that sold a wide range of feminist literature and magazines. It sold stock that reflected expansive ideology of feminism: books on women's issues, domestic violence, and lesbianism, but also texts on sociology, science fiction, and politics. They stocked magazines to allow for more current discussions on potentially outdated perspectives, children's stories curated for their progressive gender politics, feminist jewelry, Tarot cards, and maintained a notice board that monitored and supported activity within the female and lesbian community.
More than a bookstore, owners Pleasance Hansen and Porleen Simmons sought to create a space that reinforced reality from a female perspective, in contrast to the patriarchal society beyond its walls. Their clientele described it as a "sanity space" and a part of their "emotional geography". The Woman's Place closed its doors in 1989.
Want to learn more?
Women Together: A History of Women's Organisations in New Zealand : Ngā Rōpū Wāhine O Te Motu (Daphne Brasell Associates Press, 1993) by Anne Else can be found at the Alexander Turnbull Library.
Broadsheet, January/February, 1983. Pleasance Hansen and Porleen Simmons outside the Women's Place, Wellington.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Walking Radical Wellington