A Brief History of Women’s Liberation Movements in America – Alix Kates Shulman and Honor Moore

“During the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, feminist activism—richly diverse both in the women involved and in its aims, tone, and strategies—exploded in the United States and around the world, forever changing society by expanding the rights, opportunities, and identities available to women. And at the center of everything that the women’s liberation movement achieved was the writing that both forged and propelled it, writing that continues to inspire, challenge, educate, and even offend. Yet, by the mid-1980s, despite occasional victories, the feminist movement had become so distorted and vilified that the tag ‘feminist’ was rejected by many women who had welcomed the changes in their lives the movement produced. At the end of World War II—and even as recently as 1970, as detailed by Gene Boyer in her essay, excerpted in this volume, ‘Are Woman Equal Under the Law?’—a husband’s forcing sex on his wife was not legally considered rape. In some states, unless there was a title establishing the wife’s ownership, all her purchases belonged to her husband, even if bought entirely with her own earnings, and a married woman could not make a contract or obtain a credit card without her husband’s signature. … When The Second Sex: Woman as Other was published in the US in 1953, it had a profound effect, influencing many of the women who would go on to create the American feminist movement. One of them was Betty Friedan, then a freelance writer for women’s magazines, who surveyed her Smith College class at their fifteenth reunion and found that an overwhelming number had a common set of complaints, ranging from the vague to the desperate. To their shared malaise she gave the appellation ‘the problem that has no name.’ The Feminine Mystique, published in February 1963, quickly became a best seller. Friedan based her conclusions, which included the need for married women to work outside the home, on her sample of white educated housewives. … In Chicago, in 1967, a small band of radical feminists established The Westside Group, widely considered the country’s first radical feminist group. When its cofounder, a 22-year-old art student named Shulamith Firestone, moved to New York City later that year, she helped organize New York Radical Women, the first group in that city. Soon small groups were forming in cities, in towns, and on campuses all over the country—from Boston, New York, and Gainesville, to Chicago, Detroit, Iowa City, and Madison, to Seattle, Berkeley, and Los Angeles. …”
The Women’s Liberation Movement
W – Women’s liberation movement in North America

1971 – Womens Liberation march 5th Ave. 8/26/71/ NYC.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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