1969-1992 A triumph for radical feminism?


A-Levels History Mind Map on 1969-1992 A triumph for radical feminism?, created by ldldooley on 05/07/2013.
Mind Map by ldldooley, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by ldldooley over 10 years ago

Resource summary

1969-1992 A triumph for radical feminism?
  1. Women and Work 1969-1992
    1. Laws against gender discrimination and stereotyping were introduced in the 1970s, giving women the opportunity to do previously male dominated careers, and vice versa.
      1. Did not mean that discrimination and inequality didn't exist, as these opportunities didn't mean equal pay. Very few women went into skilled professions, even during the 1970s less that 5% of managers were women.
        1. There was however, a suggested 'glass ceiling' that prevented women from reaching top jobs in companies, regardless of leglislation.
        2. NOW and other feminist groups found it necessary to make law suits to ensure that employers obeyed the law, especially in cases like pregnancy with women now going into ex-male careers.
          1. 1979: Successful case against a case female firefighter who was refused to be able to feed her baby on her times off. The authorities threatened disciplinary action if she breast-fed in the station.
          2. 1970: 47% of women had a job, more married women than unmarried. These were mostly middle-class and well educated.
            1. Yet federal government still refused to provide paid maternity leave and child-care facilities by 1992, even after female lobbying. (mid 1980s only 5 states gave partially paid maternity leave.)
              1. Working women in the 1970s and 1980s mostly supported feminist activists
              2. mid-1990s, the wage gap had virtually been removed for young educated women (98%). Still a class divided between white and ethnic minorities, characterized by poverty.
                1. The wage gap really affected women who were the sole bread winners in poorer classes, they couldn't afford childcare or even to provide for their children. This particularly affected AAs who in 1960 were the highest proportion of single mothers.
                2. The confidence and assurance that feminism provided took effect upon educated women in the 1990s, who were now achieving degrees as good as/better than men.
                  1. Many women successfully began to make their own businesses through their own enterprises in the 1990s, because mainstream business were discriminant.
                    1. These women also had homes and families.
                3. Radical Feminism 1970s
                  1. In the 1970s feminists became more radical in their demands as well as their means of protest.
                    1. This made feminist campaigns fragmented and hence limited their 'improvement'.
                      1. 'The Feminists' (1968-1973) were a radical splinter group of NOW who argued that for women to be truly liberated, they had disassociate themselves with men and abolish marriage.
                        1. The 'Radicalesbians' 1973 believed that gender shouldn't exist and people should only know eachother as people, and that lesbianism liberated women. Combined women's rights and gay rights.
                        2. Betty Friedan declared abortion 'a woman's civil right' and the campaign leading to Roe v. Wade (1973) which eventually established this right.
                          1. This issue created the anti-feminist movement that supported the traditional values of home and family, alongside Church values
                          2. Radical feminists challenged the traditional image of womanhood and influenced the thinking of younger women. The media covered public feminist demonstrations and published writings of leading feminists like Betty Friedan.
                            1. (1972) The magazine 'Ms' by Gloria Steinem was popular and promoted feminist ideals and hence provided a balance to the critical approach male dominated publications took on women's rights. Exposed controversial topics like rape and domestic abuse and even publish a front cover of a bruised woman's face in 1976.
                          3. Popular culture urged young girls to reject characteristics that previously defined femininity, through music (Reddy's I am Woman), film, etc.
                            1. 1968 radical feminists publicly crowned a sheep as the winner of the Miss America competition as it was seen as a degrading contest for women.
                            2. 1968: 65% of girls wanted to be housewives. 1978: only 25% did!
                              1. The contraceptive Pill was introduced in the early 1970s, which was liberating as it gave women full control over child bearing, and therefore they would often take opportunites for careers and education more in life.
                                1. Alarmed those with traditional values.
                              2. 1985: over 70% of women supported the efforts of feminists to better lives of women. It was becoming clear that women had more choices for their life, rather than just to be a wife and a mother.
                              3. The rise of Anti-feminism/ demise of Radical Feminism
                                1. The Demise of Radical Feminism
                                  1. Some feminists demanded such radical things that not only the traditional women but also the men rejected them. By 1990 only 40%(at it's highest) supported gender equality, problematic as Congress and State legislatures were still male dominated.
                                    1. Poorer women felt that the feminist propaganda didn't resemble the situations of their lives. Therefore there was no mass feminist support.
                                      1. Local branches of NOW didn't necessarily reflect the whole organisations priorities, e.g. rape centres, contraception, self-defence classes. Couldn't harness a united support of all it's members across the US.
                                        1. mid-1970s many liberal feminists formed groups pursuing their own special agendas, this was on the basic of things like wage as well as different ethnicities representing their own discriminations.
                                          1. Many women's demands had been met by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the 1960s under JFK.
                                            1. The anti-feminist backlash from conservative women fought passionately against the right for a legal abortion and the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which the opposition fought just as strongly towards.
                                              1. Radical feminism became synonymous with abortion.
                                                1. Drove many women to believe wholly in the 'seperate spheres' ideas and join anti-feminist groups.
                                            2. Phyllis Schlafly. A leader of anti-feminism. Particularly against abortion
                                              1. She was ironically a woman with a difficult careers as well as a husband and children, making her a full time wife. She was Roman Catholic.
                                                1. Women who supported abortion weren't 'real' women as they denied their natural instinct as a mother.
                                                2. Was a capable, driven and determined leader for anti-feminism.
                                                  1. Argued the traditional role of women whilst dismissing the radical feminists as anti-family radicals and lesbians. She gained massive support from many women who readily saw that liberation wasn't the means of achieving women's rights.
                                                    1. In her book 'The power of the Positive Women' (1977) she re-phrased the separate spheres philosophy to appeal it to all the women who rejected feminism.
                                                      1. As groups like NOW became more radical in search of ERA, they destruction of this became their target.
                                                  2. The ERA campaign 1920s-1982
                                                    1. Began in the 1920s, activists like Alice Paul sought it as the vote wasn't seen as enough to secure equal rights.
                                                      1. Constantly presented to Congress 1920s-1970s, even had an amended version pass in 1950, but this wasn't good enough.
                                                      2. Most opposition came from trade unions who didn't want an influx of equally paid women impacting on the male job-market. Some feminists wanted gender specific leglislation for work as part of ERA.
                                                        1. Passed by Congress in 1972, but by 1979 it was clear that the 3/4 agreement needed for ratification was unlikely. Some feminists even began to re-think the meaning of equality, they wanted equal treatment but to have gender differences recognised, hence not being treated as 'equals' per se.
                                                          1. Many argued that the goals of ERA were already solved by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Employment opportunities Act of 1972 and the 14th amendment (equal protection under the law).
                                                          2. In 1972 Schlafly established a National Committee to stop ERA and exposed what ERA would in effect do to the states yet to ratify it. e.g. women in heavy industry, divorced men not paying maintainence, unisex bathrooms. The strongest arguement was the threat to the home, which gained support from women and politicians.
                                                            1. ERA got wrapped up in the debate of Roe V. Wade and abortion.
                                                              1. Ensured no more ratifications and the period for the ratification expired (1982), especially since by then support for ERA had reduced.
                                                          3. Roe V. Wade 1973
                                                            1. A really significant test case that established women's rights to a legal abortion in the first 6 months of pregnancy, and the right that she can make that choice alone. This was a burning issue in the 1970s.
                                                              1. Equally as controversial as it entailed that a woman should have the right to her own body and to make decisions on child bearing.
                                                                1. The constitutional right to contraception was only formed in 1965 for married couples and 1972 for unmarried couples.
                                                                  1. Arguements for were that women would only have painful back-street abortions otherwise. As well as from anti-feminist groups who said abortion-supporters rejected their natural body.
                                                                    1. Opposed by groups like the 'National Right to Life Committee' (1973) who formed as a response to the decision. Sought to secure the protection of an unborn child by the Constitution. Its Board had members from all 50 states.
                                                                      1. Groups like this generally believed that life begins at conception. Those who opposed argued that before 6 months an abortion should be okay.
                                                                  2. The Politics of Roe v. Wade
                                                                    1. Brought abortion to the centre stage of political circles.
                                                                      1. A change in the 1970s of the importance of the vote to the mass of women, there was a significant increase in the amount of women's votes
                                                                        1. Politicians therefore recognised female issues to try and win their vote.
                                                                          1. Yet women were critically divided on the opinion of abortion.
                                                                        2. Republicans strongly opposed abortion. In 1976 and 1980 they called for an amendment to ban abortion. Nixon (1969-74) didn't express a view, whilst Reagan (81-89) and Bush Snr. (89-93) stongly opposed abortion.
                                                                          1. Reagan and Bush dealt with pro-abortion cases by appointing judges for the Supreme Court cases whom they knew were anti-abortionisits.
                                                                            1. focused on middle-class women voters who were mostly anti-abortion.
                                                                            2. Regardless of the constant challenges to Roe v. Wade, it remained in place. Yet the argument of abortion is still contentious.
                                                                          2. Women in Politics 1969-1992
                                                                            1. By 1992 women still hadn't secured a strong base in the political system to influence policy or the attitudes of the male politicians.
                                                                              1. An increased political awareness, following the increase in women voting.
                                                                                1. There was an increase in women putting themselves up for election, 1968: 20 women, 1990: 78 women. Yet it was not until 1992 when women took a significant number of seats in the Senate.
                                                                                  1. Shirley Chisholm in 1972 was the first black women up for presidential nomination. She had a long political career from 1968-1982.
                                                                                  2. In 1971 the 'National Women's Political Caucus was formed to encourage and prepare women for standing for election by Steinem (editor of Ms.)
                                                                                    1. The amount of women running for Congress and state legislatures doubled between 1974 and 1994.
                                                                                      1. As well as an increase in the number of women running for other political roles.
                                                                                    2. Until the 1990s women tended to pursue careers in business and law rather than politics.
                                                                                      1. Apart from Bill Clinton's presidency in 1992 opening up huge opportunities for women, 1/3 of his appointments were female.
                                                                                        1. Women preferred lobbying and court cases as they'd proved that they can be successful in these areas, e.g Roe v. Wade
                                                                                        2. Most obstacles in politics were placed by men. Republicans alligned themselves with the conservative women who opposed the new feminists and hence stood to represent and to defend the protection of the family and the home.
                                                                                          1. Bush vetoed a bill providing paid paternity leave. Hence by 1990s there were not federal laws establishing paid maternity leave.
                                                                                            1. The Democrats appreciated female support. 1972 passing the Child Development Act, setting up daycares for working mothers nationally, but Nixon vetoed it as it would 'damage family well-being'.
                                                                                              1. Home protection was still the most important aspect, and sometimes handicap to progressing women's rights.
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