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Women's History

Hello - My name is Allison Grodin and I am currently a Senior in high school. As part of my class load this year, I have decided to do an independent study regarding the unity of the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This requires an indepth look into racial and religious barriers and beliefs that affected the unity and outcome of the movement. I am very interested in any information that you could provide and would love to get the name of contacts that I may be able to interview. I really hope that you can help point me in the right direction. Thank you, Allison

Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM--and you have certainly chosen quite a broad topic for your study. To learn more about racial and religious barriers within feminism in the 1960s and the 1970s, there are a few things I think you should keep in mind in general, and then a few specifics you should pursue.

Some parts of the Second Wave of feminism--i.e. the feminism of the 60s and the 70s--grew directly out of the civil rights and black powerments. There were two main reactions--one was white women who had been active in these movements for racial equality, but who were now being pushed out in favor of a more racially unified front. The other was black women who had been working in these same movements, but were fed up with making the coffee, folding all the mailings and not attaining leadership positions. So these two groups--for different reasons--came to the women's movement. (White women include: Dorothy Zinberg, Florence Howe, Black Women include: Angela Davis, and Elaine Brown.)

As for religious--there was a very conservative religious movement gaining ground in the mid-to-late sixties--this was the beginning of what is today the radical right women. They are Christians--extreminists by definition--and don't believe that God created women to be equal.

Separately, on the religious front, many women by the early 1970s--were breaking open previously all male occupations. They were becoming Rabbis, Episcopal priests, etc....

I'm note sure if any of this information if leading anywhere or if it's helpful, but that should be a start. Good luck.


Amy

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