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Women's History

I'm a student at O.D. Wyatt high school and I would like information on the women's movement and how the civil rights movement helped or deterred it. Thank you.

Thank you for your note to FEMINIST.COM. I think that most people would agree that the current women's movement, which began to take form around the mid-1960s, grew out of the civil rights movement of the 1950s. Similarly, the first wave of feminism, which secured basic rights for women to vote, own and inherit property, etc..., grew out of the abolitionist movement, which brought an end to slavery.

As for the civil rights movement--many of the women involved in that struggle realized that women weren't leaders nor were they recognized for their work. Additionally, the linked struggles of racism and sexism were not being identified. For these reasons--and I'm sure many others, too-the women's movement became its own movement. Many women were responsible for the civil rights movement--Rosa Parks and the group that organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott were mostly women. The student organizing groups that did voter registration efforts throughout the 1960s were led by many women.

If you go back and read some of the earliest things about the women's movement, I think you will discover this reality.


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