Identify and explain three significant statements or gold nuggets? from Weeks’ 15 and 16 historical sources. Do not include evidence from additional sites and resources not included i
See the detailed Historical Reflection directions for information about requirements and scoring rubric. For Part I, identify and explain three significant statements or “gold nuggets” from Weeks’ 15 and 16 historical sources. Do not include evidence from additional sites and resources not included in week 15 and 16 modules resources.
For Part II:
prepare a three-paragraph response to this key question:
What were the three most significant developments among feminists and social justice activists during and/or after the second wave of feminism? Include specific examples and evidence from the Weeks 15 and 16 modules in supporting your interpretation.
Support your interpretation with specific evidence from last week’s and this week’s historical sources. Keep quoted content to less than 20% of your response. Prepare a minimum of three paragraphs responding to this question. (Keep in mind that paragraphs generally consist of five to seven paragraphs).
Submit your Historical Reflection by Sunday. (Although there is a 24-hour grace period for submitting your reflection, please only use this for unexpected emergencies).
Submitting your Assignment:
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Remember, once you submit the assignment, you’ll soon see a Turnit.com score appear in the grades view. You can open the Turnit.com report and ensure that you properly cited all quoted passages and that your quoted passages comprise less than 20% of the entire document. If you conclude that a revision is necessary, please revise your Historical Reflection and resubmit it. In the comments box for the assignment, just let me know that you submitted a revised version. You may submit revisions during the assignment period and use the 24-hour grace period if needed.
Help for Completing the Historical Reflection Activity.
Consider using your notes and answers to the reading guide to form the foundation of your golden nugget reflections for Part 1.
As you examine this week’s content and complete the module activities, keep the guiding question for Part 2 in the back of your mind. As you examine and evaluate the evidence in this week’s module, you’ll also be considering how the evidence applies to our guiding question being addressed in the part 2 analysis
Resurgence of the Women’s Movement
Two Branches: During the sixties, there were two branches of the women’s movement. Although they varied slightly in ideology, that is philosophy and beliefs, their greatest differences were really in their structures and strategies. This in turn, impacted their membership and following. In simplified terms, they can be labeled “women’s rights” and “women’s liberation.” Women’s Rights or Liberal Feminists: The women’s rights branch was structured and hierarchical. Older, professional women generally made up the ranks of this branch. Their chief goal was achieving legal and political changes regarding women’s status. Women’s Liberation: The women’s liberation branch tended to be more loosely organized and really was not structured. It did not have a clearly identified leader and its members were primarily younger women who were working for personal changes in their lives. For them, the “personal was political,” as historian Sara Evans explained.
Roots in the Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Movement served as a catalyst for the second wave of feminism. It served as training ground for activism. Through their participation in the movement, women gained the skills, knowledge, experience, and confidence to address inequality in all aspects of their life. The Civil Rights Movement also inspired women to take action to eliminate inequality in their lives.
We need to keep in mind that the Civil Rights Movement was not restricted to the Southeastern section of the United States. Dolores Huerta served as a leader while also carrying family responsibilities here in California. As a leader and Vice President of the United Farmworkers Movement, Huerta recruited members and negotiated for not only better working conditions, but improved lives of farm workers.
Two Branches of the Women’s Movement Emerged:
• A. Women’s Rights/ or Liberal Feminism
• B. Women’s Liberation
While both branches sought to improve women’s status in American society, they articulated different goals; followed distinctly different structures; attracted different members; and most definitely, pursued different strategies. In some ways, we can draw parallels to the efforts leading up to adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment when the Alice Paul and the National Women’s Party pursued a more radical strategy compared with Carrie Chapman Catt’s “Winning Plan” that called for more conventional strategies of persuasion.
Origins of Discontent:
• A. Employment: By the 1960s, a majority of married women were in the workforce.
• B. Attitudes: Women belonged in the home and men’s incomes supported families.
Employment: As we’ve already discussed, the second world war created a vast number of richly rewarding jobs for women that were unfortunately only temporary. At the end of the war when veterans returned home, women were expected to go from their war time jobs to suburban kitchens, and many did. But many other women remained in the work force. The percentage of women working outside the home increased from 27% in 1940 to 32% in 1950. The majority of these new working women were married, white, and middle class. By the 1960s, a majority, over 50% of married women were working outside the home. Their primary reason was to increase their family income. Attitudes: In spite of this historic shift in the economic role women performed, traditional attitudes about women’s work and place persisted. The prevailing notions asserted that women were naturally supposed to like and enjoy a domestic role, and that they were supposed to prefer being housewives and mothers over working outside the home. So, many women found themselves in a very difficult and psychologically frustrating situation: they needed to work because their families depended upon their incomes, but they had to say that they really did not enjoy working and would rather stay home.
Origins of Discontent
• C. Unfair Pay:
• Men’s annual income in 1968: $7,664; women’s: $4,456.
• D. Pay disparity for the same jobs. Male chemist: $13,200; female: $9,000 in 1968.
• E. Unfair expectations of women: the second shift and primary responsibility for children.
Unfair pay: Women’s incomes were valuable to their families, but society did not value their work as much as it did men’s, and this was painfully evident in their paychecks. In 1968, the annual median income for men was $7,664 but only $4,456 for women. Women were paid less for their work in virtually every job and position. Female chemists earned $9,000 per year while male chemists earned $13,200 in 1968. Women often filled the lower paying jobs that were not as valued to society. They occupied 75% of the clerical positions and in 1968, filled very few of the higher paying professional jobs. For example, only 6% of the scientists were women; 3% of lawyers; and 1% of the federal judges. Through their paychecks, they secured valuable financial support for their families, but society in general still regarded them as help mates to their husbands, rather than as equal partners. This also translated into the expectation that working women were still responsible for all housework. So, when they returned home in the evenings, what is known as the “second shift” began for many women. They performed the bulk of the household chores in the evenings and during weekends.
Voices of Discontent:
• A. Older, professional women criticized women’s status in the work place.
• B. Responded to JFK’s Commission on the Status of Women, Eleanor Roosevelt
• C. American Women, 1963
Voices of Discontent: These discrepancies and inequalities were frustrating to women. The first group who publicly complained and articulated their criticisms about women’s status were the same women who formed the women’s rights branch of the movement, the older, established, professional, white middle class women. The forum that initially provided these women with the opportunity to voice their complaints and frustrations was the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, which JFK established in 1961. Kennedy appointed Eleanor Roosevelt to serve as the chairperson of this committee. The committee studied women’s place in the economy, family, and legal system. American Women, 1963: This committee produced a report on the status of women creatively entitled, “American Women”, in 1963, along with several other committee reports. In these reports, they documented the extent to which women were denied opportunities and rights in America. As a result of this report, all fifty states established their own commissions to examine the status of women within their boundaries.
Importance of Report:
• 1. All 50 states launched their own studies.
• 2. Brought together many knowledgeable & politically active women.
• 3. Revealed the full extent of women’s discrimination and made many aware.
• 4. Created the expectation that gov’t should do something to remedy the problem.
The formation of federal and state commissions were important steps in the development of the women’s rights movement for three reasons. They brought together many knowledgeable, politically active women who might not have come together to discuss and examine the status of women and matters that were of direct concern to them. The studies conducted and published by these commissions uncovered and revealed women’s unequal status, especially in legal and economic areas. This uncovering and publication of evidence made other women, who initially had not really been interested in a women’s movement, aware of the extent to which they were subordinated and it made them want to do something about it. Finally, the commission’s report raised many women’s expectation of the role federal and state governments would play in improving women’s rights. They did not want the government to simply shine a flashlight on the problem and expose it; they expected the government to follow through by helping come up with a solution to the problem.
Civil Rights Act of 1964:
• A. Rep. Howard Smith’s ploy
• B. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of race and sex.
• C. Agency did not address sex discrimination.
Civil Rights Act of 1964: Meanwhile, as the women’s status commissions were conducting their investigations and Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, a potential political solution to women’s economic problem was being debated in Congress. When the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act was being debated in Congress, a southern segregationist who opposed adopting federal protections for the rights of African Americans, thought of a ploy that might defeat the whole Civil Rights package. This politician, Representative Howard Smith from Virginia, proposed an amendment to the civil rights bill that added the word “sex” into the section that addressed job discrimination. The amended bill, if passed, would prohibit discrimination in employment based upon race and sex. Specifically, Howard Smith’s amendment appeared in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It prohibited employers from refusing to hire, to segregate or negatively classify any person on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Smith and other segregationists hoped that by adding “sex” into the amendment that they would make the civil rights bill so ridiculously unpopular with the rest of the House that they would defeat it. This may remind some of you to the conflict that arose out the language of the 14th Amendment and whether it prohibited the word “sex” in 1869.
Women’s Rights Branch
• A. National Organization for Women, 1966
• Betty Friedan elected it first president. cognoscenti.wbur.org
NOW: In 1966, partly in response to their frustration with the federal government’s refusal to enforce the sex discrimination law and in response to their general dissatisfaction with women’s status in American society, a group of politically active older women decided to form the National Organization for Women. They selected Betty Friedan to serve as their first president.
Members of NOW made up the women’s rights movement, also known as the Liberal Feminists, that I mentioned earlier in this lecture. They had very specific legal goals. Their main goal was to pressure the federal government into using its power to improve women’s status. Specifically, they targeted the executive branch – the branch of government responsible for enforcing laws. NOW’s first main step was trying to convince the federal government to take sex discrimination as seriously as it took race discrimination in the Civil Rights Act. NOW engaged in legal battles with LBJ’s administration and various executive agencies in trying to gain protection against job discrimination. Some of these legal battles fought by NOW involved a case that went all the way to the US Supreme Court. They wanted to prevent newspapers from segregating “help wanted” ads according to male and female categories. NOW also won a court victory that prohibited a common practice of the airlines to fire female flight attendants after they turned 32 or got pregnant.
Women’s Right Branch
• B. Goal: equality for women, particularly economic.
• C. Structure: Hierarchically organized. NOW, 1966.
• D. Membership: Older, professional men & women.
• E. Style: Conventional political lobbying, worked within the system, and worked with media professionals.
NOW was very successful in waging legal and political battles on the national level. They operated according to a clearly defined hierarchy, but they suffered from one major weakness during their early years. NOW did not attract a mass base of support. There were hardly any regional and local chapters of the organization. The women and men who formed NOW knew how to pursue legal and political goals while also using the media, but they did not know how to attract a mass base of support, a grass – roots following. They had been successful in breaking down legal barriers, but they had not yet touched lives in a personal way.
Women’s Liberation Branch
• A. Goal: Dedicated to achieving equality through personal changes.
• B. Structure: Loosely organized. No clear leader. Grass roots, local “CR” groups.
Women’s Liberation Groups: The younger branch of the women’s movement proved to be better at attracting a mass base of support and organizing local groups. While NOW pursued legal and political victories, the younger women formed a branch of their own that basically embraced a similar ideology, but had a very different style and structure than the older women’s branch. The younger branch prioritized personal changes more than legal ones. Many of the younger women who formed the women’s liberation branch had years of experience in the civil rights movement and some of the New Left organizations. Many of these women gained valuable organizing skills through their participation in these other movements, but they also had become frustrated because they experienced their own issues and needs being subordinated to an agenda set by men. (The other movements included: the Civil Rights, Anti-War, counter-culture, free –love). Women had become enraged, whenever they tried to bring their concerns to the attention of the men in these movements, they had been laughed at, ridiculed, and basically told to get back in their place. Well, they channeled their anger and frustration into forming a new movement, a branch of the women’s movement.
• C. Membership: Younger women, men were excluded from most groups.
• D. Style: Attract media attention, appeal to a mass base of support for occasions, Miss America Pageant in 1968.
Women’s Liberation Branch:
The younger women’s liberation branch was different than the women’s right, NOW, branch in several important ways. They did not have the resources or even the desire necessarily to organize and support a national organization. Instead, they wanted to form local, grass-roots groups to address their concerns and issues. They formed what were called “rap groups” or “consciousness raising groups” a term they borrowed from the black power movement. The point of these groups was to provide women with a forum to discuss their own womanhood, share personal experiences, and analyze their experiences. The purpose of sharing and discussing was to change women’s perceptions of themselves and their society. As women shared what they thought were personal problems, they soon realized that it was a common problem shared by all, and that the cause was not an internal one, but more likely one with society at large. Once they realized that the causes of their problems was not themselves, then they could consider social and political solutions to those problems. Through these groups, women came to realize the extent to which social structures and attitudes had influenced them and their understanding of what it meant to be a woman since birth. They concluded that they could never really achieve equality as long as they allowed men to continue to dominate their personal lives. They realized that they needed to transform their own personal lives in order to change society. So, they sought to end male domination in all aspects of their lives, not just in the legal arena as NOW did.
The younger branch of the women’s movement also operated differently in that they relied more on their own local organizing skills and informal communication channels to spread their information, whereas the more structured and national NOW successfully used the media to promote its agenda. Another characteristic of the women’s liberation branch that differed from the rights group, or NOW, was that they completely excluded men. They borrowed this concept from the Black Power movement that excluded whites from its membership. These women discovered that when men were allowed into their groups, traditional sex roles reasserted themselves. They found that men tended to dominate discussions and talked about women’s liberation as it related to men, or even how men themselves felt oppressed by their own sex roles. Women found that exclusive female groups provided a more open and comfortable atmosphere for women to express their feelings and share their experiences. A final characteristic that distinguished the two branches from one another was how they used the media. NOW members knew members of the established media and they used the media in traditional ways to publicize their goals and activities. The younger women affiliated with the liberation movement, attracted the media’s attention through more flamboyant means. For example, in 1968 during the Miss America contest, women gathered outside the building to protest the impact beauty contests had on women’s self esteem and status. They gathered bras, girdles, false eyelashes and other beauty products which were really sources of female oppression and threw them into a “freedom trash can.” Next, they crowned a live sheep Miss America. This is the event that earned them the name “bra burners,” although no bras were actually burned at this event. Gloria Steinem reported that the group was not able to obtain a fire permit, so no matches were used!
Uniting of the Two Branches
• A. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment, August 1970.
• B. Focus attention on:
• 1. Childcare
• 2. Abortion rights
• 3. Equal employment opportunities
50th Anniversary of 19th Amendment: In August 1970, members from both branches of the women’s movement organized a national strike to commemorate the 50th
anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. Almost every feminist group supported the strike in some way. Marchers in a parade down New York’s Fifth Avenue formed what was called the “largest and most enthusiastic parade in the country.” Protesters shattered tea cups in Rochester, NY outside the home of Susan B. Anthony to represent a symbolic protest of what they called the “tea cup” mentality. Women brought 50 children into Syracuse NY’s city hall in what they called a baby-in, that was intended to focus attention of the lack of adequate childcare facilities in the nation. Throughout other communities, protesters conducted “teach- ins” and “sit- ins”. The three main goals of the protests, in addition to commemorating passage of the 19th amendment were: To demand greater access to child care;
To promote access to legal and safe abortions; And obtain equal employment opportunities and pay scales for female workers.
More unified at the end of the 1960s.
Ready for a decade of change and progress in the 1970s.
Initially, the two branches differed from one another in several aspects, but as they all began to recognize that the personal was in fact political, and they appreciated the structures that each had to offer, they more effectively worked together to eliminate sexism in all aspects of women’s lives.
In the next decade, women of color expanded the focus to address not only sexism in society, but the multiple forms of discrimination faced by the nation’s diverse population. The focus upon multiple layers of discrimination called for considering Intersectionality and many women’s multiple identities.
Women of Color:
• Challenged white feminists to address racism and class discrimination.
• Challenged nationalist movements to address sexism as part of the struggle for equality.
By the 1970s, the women’s movement addressed multiple barriers to equality, intersectionality.
National Women’s Conference
Houston, Texas 1977
Over 200 years after the first women’s rights convention, the National Women’s Conference gathered in Houston, Texas in 1977. Government funded and inclusive of women from all backgrounds, the more recent conference also adopted an action plan for improving women’s status. A torch, holding a poem drafted specially for the occasion by Maya Angelo was carried from Seneca Falls to Houston.
…To Form A More Perfect Union…’
We recognize the accomplishments of our sisters, those famous
and hallowed women of history and those unknown and unsung
women whose strength gave birth to our strength.
We recognize those women who were and are immobilized by
oppression and crippled by prejudice.
We recognize that no nation can boast of balance until each
member of that nation is equally employed and equally rewarded.
We recognize that women collectively have been unfairly treated
and dishonorably portrayed.
We recognize our responsibility to work toward the eradication of
negatives in our society and by doing so, bring honor to our
gender, to our species, and to ourselves individually.
Because of the recognition set down above we American women
unfold our future today.
Maya Angelou, 1977
This poem, carried from Seneca Falls to a Houston convention center, captured the more inclusive women’s movement in pursuit of a multitude of goals, not always by consensus. Recognition that women’s equality is not secure until all women’s equality is protected, is a significant achievement. It also makes for a powerful conclusion to this lecture.
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