Anneke van Baalen, née Rueb, was born in The Hague, Netherlands, and completed gymnasium (high school) in Arnhem. She studied law at the University of Leiden and worked for a few years as a lawyer. In 1961, she married Cornelis Arnold van Baalen, with whom she had two children. In the 1960s, she became active in feminist organizations; in 1971, she helped organize a more radical women's movement based in Amsterdam. She and her husband divorced but she retained the surname van Baalen. She became the most important theorist, writer and source of inspiration for radical feminism in The Netherlands. In 1974, she became a researcher in political science at the University of Amsterdam. Aiming to reach a larger audience of women, she co-founded De Bonte Was, a writers' cooperative and publishing firm that issued subversive books about marriage, sexuality, motherhood, and work, among other topics. The books were widely circulated and made a major contribution to feminist awareness in Holland. With Marijke Ekelschot, she wrote a feminist world history, Geschiedenis van de Vrouwentoekomst (The History of the Women's Future, 1980). De Bonte Was also initiated important feminist debates and actions, including advertising campaigns. Anneke van Baalen died at age 60 after a short illness.