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History of Feminist Movements in the United States. Women’s Studies 101 UW Marathon County. Waves. First Wave (early 1848-early 1920) Second Wave (1960s-1970s) Backlashes. Third Wave. THE FIRST WAVE: early 1848-early 1920. Status of Women Pre-1900s. Women as property

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history of feminist movements in the united states

History of Feminist Movements in the United States

Women’s Studies 101

UW Marathon County

  • First Wave (early 1848-early 1920)
  • Second Wave (1960s-1970s)
  • Backlashes.
  • Third Wave.
status of women pre 1900s
Status of Women Pre-1900s
  • Women as property
  • Women owning property
  • Black women and rape
  • Suffrage/Voting
the first wave
The First Wave
  • Central Issues
    • Anti-slavery
    • Social, civil, and religious rights of women (Seneca Falls convention)
    • Women’s right to vote (suffrage)
    • Legal and accessible birth control
    • Expanded educational opportunities
anti slavery
  • Abolitionism and Women’s Movement
  • April 8th, 1825,
    • Birmingham Ladies Society for the Relief of Negro Slaves
seneca falls convention 1848
Seneca Falls Convention: 1848
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and friends organized a convention in 1848 that came up with a Declaration of Sentiments, modeled after the Declaration of Independence. It included 18 grievances
    • Citizenship and rights
    • Marriage
    • Work and Education
    • Dependence
  • Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton
  • Bradwell vs. Illinois (1872)
  • Nineteenth Amendment Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, Ratified August 18, 1920.

1920: Alice Paul toasts banner in front of NWP headquarters to commemorate the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

legal and accessible birth control
Legal and Accessible Birth Control
  • Political movement for Birth Control
  • 1873 and 1879 Comstock laws banning contraceptive information
  • Griswold vs. Connecticut (1965)
  • Margaret Sanger: 1918
    • Her principles
    • access to birth control
    • network of volunteer-driven family planning centers across the U.S.
  • Her Birth Control Federation of America became Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942.
expanded educational opportunities
Expanded Educational Opportunities
  • 1824—public high schools
  • Conservation Theory of Energy, historical views of women’s intellectual abilities
  • Women in professions then and now
  • Women in college
status of women 1920 1980
Status of Women 1920-1980
  • Contraception and Abortion
  • Title IX
  • Marital Rape
  • Scholarship Money
  • Divorce rate—no-fault divorces, decline, “divorce divide” and education—some debate about the value of no-fault divorce
  • Early 1970s and women’s dependence: credit, wages, job ads
second wave
Second Wave
  • Central Issues
    • Equality in work, politics, and education (ERA)
    • Elimination of sexism (sexual objectification, violence against women, and the socialization of women to meet the needs of men)
    • Peace
    • Women’s reproductive freedom
founding of now
Founding of NOW
  • NOW--1966
  • NOW concentrated on lobbying, focusing on sex discrimination.
    • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1965.
mass women s movement
Mass Women’s Movement
  • Mass women’s Movement and NOW
  • Consciousness-raising groups (CR)
accomplishments and focus of the second wave
Accomplishments and Focus of the Second Wave
  • Women moved for social changes:
    • Daycare, discrimination, rape crisis hotlines, women’s centers, unions, women’s studies courses, journals, and magazines
  • Soon different groups formulated different theoretical and political stances:
    • Socialist feminists:
    • Radical feminists
    • Marxist feminists:
    • Separatist feminists:
    • Cultural feminists
    • Feminists of Color
feminisms part 2
Feminisms, Part 2
  • Theoretical splits
  • Multi-issue vs. single-issue groups
organizational principles
Organizational Principles
  • Women’s liberation preferred decentralization:
    • Groups lacked formal structure
    • No “Roberts Rules of Order”
    • “direct democracy”
    • challenges
  • While most middle-class women did not work outside the home, many women were employed:
    • By 1960, 30 percent of married women were employed
    • 39 percent of mothers with school-age children were in the labor force (typically “pink-collar” service and clerical jobs, which is still true today)
    • By 1955, 3 million women belonged to unions, constituting 17% of union members.
equal rights amendment
Equal Rights Amendment
  • The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA),
  • 1923: Alice Paul and finally
  • voted on in 1972, states: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

Circa 1920's: Mrs. Harvey Wiley, on phone, Miss Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, and unknown woman, making phone calls for the Equal Rights Amendment.

elimination of sexism problems addressed in the second wave
Elimination of Sexism—Problems Addressed in the Second Wave
  • 1963: Feminine Mystique
  • Employment statistics
  • Workplace Discrimination

Betty Friedan

  • Women’s Movement and Anti-War movements
  • Reasons?
women s reproductive freedom
Women’s Reproductive Freedom
  • Contraception: 1965 and 1972
  • Abortion: 1973