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5 16 redefining
5/16: Redefining

  • Please respond to the clip of “Pillow Talk” (1959) we watched in class. How does 1950s society view Brad as a single man, and Jan as a single woman? How are they treated differently by people? What does the institution of marriage mean to the characters in the film? What type of behavior is encouraged in men and women? Do we still see some of these societal trends today?


A women s movement arises
A Women’s Movement Arises

  • Following World War II, most women gave up their jobs to returning servicemen and went back to their homes to take care of their families

  • Popular culture portrayed the housewife as the personification of the “good life”

  • However, many women wanted to move beyond this stereotype and gain sexual equality



Seeking to redefine traditional roles
Seeking to Redefine Traditional Roles 1960s and 1970s as the second wave of

  • The civil rights struggle prompted women to look at the ways in which society judged and discriminated against them as a group

  • Many women objected to the inaccuracy of the housewife stereotype – some needed work to support themselves or their families

  • Others wanted more opportunities than their lives as housewives could offer


Looking for better work
Looking for Better Work 1960s and 1970s as the second wave of

  • Even women with training and education had their access to careers or advancement blocked by blatant discrimination

  • Facing such restrictions, women increasingly demanded equal treatment in the workplace


  • “The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction… Each suburban housewife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffered Cub Scouts and made Brownies, lay beside her husband at night – she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question – “Is this all”?

    • Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique, 1963


Women find their voices
Women Find Their Voices minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction… Each suburban housewife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children,

  • Several years after she wrote The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan helped establish the National Organization for Women (NOW)

  • The organization dedicated itself to winning “true equality for all women”


Now s goals and tactics
NOW’S Goals and Tactics minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction… Each suburban housewife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children,

  • NOW set out to break down barriers of discrimination in the workplace and in education

  • It attacked stereotypes of women in the media and called for more balanced roles in marriages

  • NOW had two major priorities:


  • The first was to bring about passage of the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction… Each suburban housewife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), an amendment to the constitution that would guarantee gender equality under the law

  • The second was to protect reproductive rights, especially the right to an abortion


Era section 1
ERA: Section 1 minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction… Each suburban housewife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children,

  • “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex”


Raising society s awareness
Raising Society’s Awareness minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction… Each suburban housewife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children,

  • Some feminists, like Gloria Steinem, tried to change awareness through the mass media

  • After graduating from college, Steinem worked as a freelance writer, including a stint of undercover work at a club run by Playboy magazine




Opposing the women s movement
Opposing the Women’s Movement differences, have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups, and into the cheap labor on which this system still depends.”

  • Some Americans – both men and women – openly challenged the women’s movement

  • Phyllis Schlaflywas a conservative political activist who denounced women’s liberation as a “total assault on the family, on marriage, and on children”




Lasting effects of the women s movement
Lasting Effects of the Women’s Movement restructure human nature.”

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave feminists a legal tool

  • It included a clause, called Title VII, that outlawed discrimination on the basis of sex




  • Title IX of Women in 1961 to examine workplace discriminationof the Higher Education Act of 1972 banned discrimination in education

  • The Equal Credit Opportunity Act, passed in 1974, made it illegal to deny credit to a woman just because of her gender


  • Some feminists considered their most important legal victory to be the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which assured women the right to legal abortions

  • Prior to Roe, most states outlawed or severely restricted abortion

  • Some women turned to illegal and often dangerous ways to end their pregnancies


The workplace slowly changes
The Workplace Slowly Changes to be the 1973 Supreme Court decision in

  • The percentage of women in the workforce has grown, from about 30 percent in 1950 to more than 60 percent in 2000

  • The average women still earns less than the average man, partly because women continue to work in fields that pay less

  • “The pink collar ghetto”




The new equal rights amendment
The New Equal Rights Amendment 1890s, 1920s, 1950s, 1970s?

  • In each group, please list ten facets of American life where there she should be guaranteed equality between the sexes


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