Historical Events  General
Burning Bra


Very few

How many bras were actually burnt?

The women's lib movement, which began in the 1960's and saw many protests and rallies, is synonymous with the phrase "Burning Bras", and other variants such as "Burn your bra". 

People are surprised today to hear very few were actually burnt. Sure, there are videos of them being done for the cameras during these rallies, but the idea there was mass outrage and every woman was doing it turns out to be false.

This is a similar MMDE to the HG Wells War of the Worlds radio broadcast. In fact the similarities go even further, because there is strong suspicion the phrase "Burning Bras" was actually concocted by a newspaper at the time, and it caught on as a useful hook to summarise the movement.

An American cliché

The image conjured up is a huge crowd of young women, marching in front of some government building each holding up a pole with their bra alight on top of it.

This happened very rarely.

In fact at one protest in 1968 at the Atlantic City Convention Center a "Freedom Can" was set up, in which bras, girdles, curlers and men's magazines were intended to be set alight. One problem - they couldn't get a fire permit.

The BBC have also all but confirmed the myth.