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Feminism Read the following pages from The Americans: 982-986.

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Presentation on theme: "Feminism Read the following pages from The Americans: 982-986."— Presentation transcript:

1 Feminism Read the following pages from The Americans: 982-986

2 Feminism Post-WWII Question: When you hear the word feminism, what comes to mind?

3 Betty Friedan Feb. 4, 1921 – Feb. 4, 2006 Betty Friedan wrote The Feminine Mystique in 1957. In her book she questioned “the problem that has no name” The plight of women as mother and wife as all she needs to be happy; Friedan asked the question “is this all?” Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States 1492- Present. 5th ed. New York: Perennial Classics, 2003. 505. This line of thought led to the modern feminist movement, the fight for greater civil rights and equality in society.

4 Feminism The theory of feminism: the belief that women should have economic, political, and social equality with men. There is a history of the feminist movement which dates back to the 1800’s and the early 20th century, where women gained the right to vote in the US, in 1920 –the movement declined until the 1960’s

5 Women at Work 1950: 1:3 ratio of women not working to those who did 1960: 2:5 ratio –some jobs during this time were still considered “a man’s job” jobs for women were traditionally clerical work, domestic service, retail work, social work, teaching and nursing

6 Women at Work –How did things change for women? Pres. Kennedy appointed the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women in 1961 1963: the Commission reported that women were paid less than men, even when doing the same jobs –women were seldom promoted to management, regardless of education, experience and ability. –Unreported were cases of women having children and found they did not have a job to return to

7 Women at Work –Stay at home moms were not considered valuable because they were not paid (Capitalist societies only value paid positions) –jokes of poor taste about women in the workplace

8 Even a problem with male activists Many women felt discriminated among activist organizations such as SNCC –women were relegated to menial jobs whereas the men were out doing the activities –page 983 in Americans handout, bottom of page

9 Changes in the Movement Civil Rights Act of 1964 helped the movement –the Act prohibited discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, and gender and created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to handle discrimination claims Some women by 1966, however, claimed that the EEOC did not adequately deal with women’s claims

10 Quiz Answer the following 5 questions. 1.What is the “theory of feminism”? 2.Betty Freidan’s book, The Feminine Mystique, mentioned “the problem that has no name.” Describe the problem in detail. 3.How did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 help the feminist movement? 4.Choose one to complete: EEOC or NOW 5.What was “consciousness raising”?

11 Militant organizations 1968: the New York Radical Women staged a demonstration at the annual Miss America Pageant –the women threw bras, girdles, wigs, and other “women’s garbage” in a “Freedom trash can”; they crowned a sheep as Miss America the New York Radical Women shortly after the Miss America pageant formed another group: WITCH

12 WITCH Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell (WITCH) –members dressed as witches appeared suddenly at the New York Stock Exchange turn to Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States 1492-Present. 5th ed. New York: Perennial Classics, 2003. 507. –WITCH protested any action seen as poor treatment of women

13 Gloria Steinem Journalist, political activist, and supporter of women’s liberation helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus. this group encouraged women to seek political office created the magazine Ms. Designed to treat contemporary issues from a feminist perspective

14 Legal and Social Gains As women began to question societal roles change took place both legally and socially 1972 Congress passed a ban on gender discrimination in “any education program or activity receiving federal assistance” as part of the Higher Education Act (Title IX) –all male colleges opened doors to women as a result of Title IX –EEOC gave working parents a tax break for child care expenses

15 Phyllis Schlafly ERA: Equal Rights Amendment: Constitutional Equality Schlafly provided opposition to the ERA Phyllis Schlafly would lead to “a parade of horribles” such as the drafting of women, the end of laws protecting homemakers, the end of a husband’s responsibility to provide for his family, and same-sex marriages Schlafly said that radical feminists “hate men, marriage, and children” and were oppressed “only in their distorted minds” look at p. 985 in Americans handout

16 Roe v Wade 1973 Abortion case –see handout McNeese, Tim, and Micheal S. Mountjoy, ed. History in the Making. New York: American Heritage, 1994. 343-347. "Roe v. Wade." Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. 7 Mar 2006. 07 Mar. 2006.

17 The “New Right” Emerges The “new right” formed to combat the ERA and the pro-abortion supporters. –The coalition focused on social, cultural, and moral problems –Throughout the 1970’s the New Right built grassroots support for social conservatism This grassroots movement would help Reagan get elected in 1980

18 Legacy of the New Right and Feminism The most bitter clash between the 2 groups was fought over the ERA –In 1982, the deadline for ratification of the amendment passed and the ERA went down to defeat due to not enough states approving the amendment The women’s movement altered society –Conventional roles of women redefined (career and family)

19 Legacy of the New Right and Feminism Better and more career opportunities –For example, 1970: 8% of all medical graduates and 5% of law graduates were women; 1998: those proportions rose from 42 to 44% respectively. Although a “glass ceiling” remained for many of them preventing promotion into top positions The feminist concerns were on the national agenda and there to stay (historian Sara Evans)

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