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No Turning Back

Author: Estelle Freedman
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0307416240
Size: 28.55 MB
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Repeatedly declared dead by the media, the women’s movement has never been as vibrant as it is today. Indeed as Stanford professor and award-winning author Estelle B. Freedman argues in her compelling new book, feminism has reached a critical momentum from which there is no turning back. A truly global movement, as vital and dynamic in the developing world as it is in the West, feminism has helped women achieve authority in politics, sports, and business, and has mobilized public concern for once-taboo issues like rape, domestic violence, and breast cancer. And yet much work remains before women attain real equality. In this fascinating book, Freedman examines the historical forces that have fueled the feminist movement over the past two hundred years–and explores how women today are looking to feminism for new approaches to issues of work, family, sexuality, and creativity. Freedman begins with an incisive analysis of what feminism means and why it took root in western Europe and the United States at the end of the eighteenth century. The rationalist, humanistic philosophy of the Enlightenment, which ignited the American Revolution, also sparked feminist politics, inspiring such pioneers as Mary Wollstonecraft and Susan B. Anthony. Race has always been as important as gender in defining feminism, and Freedman traces the intricate ties between women’s rights and abolitionism in the United States in the years before the Civil War and the long tradition of radical women of color, stretching back to the impassioned rhetoric of Sojourner Truth. As industrialism and democratic politics spread after World War II, feminist politics gained momentum and sophistication throughout the world. Their impact began to be felt in every aspect of society–from the workplace to the chambers of government to relations between the sexes. Because of feminism, Freedman points out, the line between the personal and the political has blurred, or disappeared, and issues once considered “merely” private–abortion, sexual violence, homosexuality, reproductive health, beauty and body image–have entered the public arena as subjects of fierce, ongoing debate. Freedman combines a scholar’s meticulous research with a social critic’s keen eye. Sweeping in scope, searching in its analysis, global in its perspective, No Turning Back will stand as a defining text in one of the most important social movements of all time. From the Hardcover edition.

Feminism Sexuality And Politics

Author: Estelle B. Freedman
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807877104
Size: 48.33 MB
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One of a small group of feminist pioneers in the historical profession, Estelle B. Freedman teaches and writes about women's history with a passion informed by her feminist values. Over the past thirty years, she has produced a body of work in which scholarship and politics have never been mutually exclusive. This collection brings together eleven essays--eight previously published and three new--that document the evolving relationship between academic feminism and political feminism as Freedman has studied and lived it. Following an introduction that presents a map of the personal and intellectual trajectory of Freedman's work, the first section of essays, on the origins and strategies of women's activism in U.S. history, reiterates the importance of valuing women in a society that has long devalued their contributions. The second section, on the maintenance of sexual boundaries, explores the malleability of both sexual identities and sexual politics. Underlying the collection is an inquiry into the changing meanings of gender, sexuality, and politics during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries along with a concern for applying the insights of women's history broadly, from the classroom to the courthouse.

History Matters

Author: Judith M. Bennett
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 9780812200553
Size: 28.98 MB
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Written for everyone interested in women's and gender history, History Matters reaffirms the importance to feminist theory and activism of long-term historical perspectives. Judith M. Bennett, who has been commenting on developments in women's and gender history since the 1980s, argues that the achievement of a more feminist future relies on a rich, plausible, and well-informed knowledge of the past, and she asks her readers to consider what sorts of feminist history can best advance the struggles of the twenty-first century. Bennett takes as her central problem the growing chasm between feminism and history. Closely allied in the 1970s, each has now moved away from the other. Seeking to narrow this gap, Bennett proposes that feminist historians turn their attention to the intellectual challenges posed by the persistence of patriarchy. She posits a "patriarchal equilibrium" whereby, despite many changes in women's experiences over past centuries, women's status vis-à-vis that of men has remained remarkably unchanged. Although, for example, women today find employment in occupations unimaginable to medieval women, medieval and modern women have both encountered the same wage gap, earning on average only three-fourths of the wages earned by men. Bennett argues that the theoretical challenge posed by this patriarchal equilibrium will be best met by long-term historical perspectives that reach back well before the modern era. In chapters focused on women's work and lesbian sexuality, Bennett demonstrates the contemporary relevance of the distant past to feminist theory and politics. She concludes with a chapter that adds a new twist—the challenges of textbooks and classrooms—to viewing women's history from a distance and with feminist intent. A new manifesto, History Matters engages forthrightly with the challenges faced by feminist historians today. It argues for the radical potential of a history that is focused on feminist issues, aware of the distant past, attentive to continuities over time, and alert to the workings of patriarchal power.

U S Women S History

Author: Leslie Brown
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813575850
Size: 71.34 MB
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In the 1970s, feminist slogans proclaimed “Sisterhood is powerful,” and women’s historians searched through the historical archives to recover stories of solidarity and sisterhood. However, as feminist scholars have started taking a more intersectional approach—acknowledging that no woman is simply defined by her gender and that affiliations like race, class, and sexual identity are often equally powerful—women’s historians have begun to offer more varied and nuanced narratives. The ten original essays in U.S. Women's History represent a cross-section of current research in the field. Including work from both emerging and established scholars, this collection employs innovative approaches to study both the causes that have united American women and the conflicts that have divided them. Some essays uncover little-known aspects of women’s history, while others offer a fresh take on familiar events and figures, from Rosa Parks to Take Back the Night marches. Spanning the antebellum era to the present day, these essays vividly convey the long histories and ongoing relevance of topics ranging from women’s immigration to incarceration, from acts of cross-dressing to the activism of feminist mothers. This volume thus not only untangles the threads of the sisterhood mythos, it weaves them into a multi-textured and multi-hued tapestry that reflects the breadth and diversity of U.S. women’s history.

Feminism As Life S Work

Author: Mary K. Trigg
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813565383
Size: 53.48 MB
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With suffrage secured in 1920, feminists faced the challenge of how to keep their momentum going. As the center of the movement shrank, a small, self-appointed vanguard of “modern” women carried the cause forward in life and work. Feminism as Life’s Work profiles four of these women: the author Inez Haynes Irwin, the historian Mary Ritter Beard, the activist Doris Stevens, and Lorine Pruette, a psychologist. Their life-stories, told here in full for the first time, embody the changes of the first four decades of the twentieth century—and complicate what we know of the period. Through these women’s intertwined stories, Mary Trigg traces the changing nature of the women’s movement across turbulent decades rent by world war, revolution, global depression, and the rise of fascism. Criticizing the standard division of feminist activism as a series of historical waves, Trigg exposes how Irwin, Beard, Stevens, and Pruette helped push the U.S. feminist movement to victory and continued to propel it forward from the 1920s to the 1960s, decades not included in the “wave” model. At a time widely viewed as the “doldrums” of feminism, the women in this book were in fact taking the cause to new sites: the National Women’s Party; sexuality and relations with men; marriage; and work and financial independence. In their utopian efforts to reshape work, sexual relations, and marriage, modern feminists ran headlong into the harsh realities of male power, the sexual double standard, the demands of motherhood, and gendered social structures. In Feminism as Life’s Work, Irwin, Beard, Stevens, and Pruette emerge as the heirs of the suffrage movement, guardians of a long feminist tradition, and catalysts of the belief in equality and difference. Theirs is a story of courage, application, and perseverance—a story that revisits the “bleak and lonely years” of the U.S. women’s movement and emerges with a fresh perspective of the history of this pivotal era.

A Companion To Gender History

Author: Teresa A. Meade
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0470692820
Size: 27.48 MB
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A Companion to Gender History surveys the history of women around the world, studies their interaction with men in gendered societies, and looks at the role of gender in shaping human behavior over thousands of years. An extensive survey of the history of women around the world, their interaction with men, and the role of gender in shaping human behavior over thousands of years. Discusses family history, the history of the body and sexuality, and cultural history alongside women’s history and gender history. Considers the importance of class, region, ethnicity, race and religion to the formation of gendered societies. Contains both thematic essays and chronological-geographic essays. Gives due weight to pre-history and the pre-modern era as well as to the modern era. Written by scholars from across the English-speaking world and scholars for whom English is not their first language.

Men And The Making Of Modern British Feminism

Author: Arianne Chernock
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804772938
Size: 58.90 MB
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Men and the Making of Modern British Feminism calls fresh attention to the forgotten but foundational contributions of men to the creation of modern British feminism. Focusing on the revolutionary 1790s, the book introduces several dozen male reformers who insisted that women's emancipation would be key to the establishment of a truly just and rational society. These men proposed educational reforms, assisted women writers into print, and used their training in religion, medicine, history, and the law to challenge common assumptions about women's legal and political entitlements. This book uses men's engagement with women's rights as a platform to reconsider understandings of gender in eighteenth-century Britain, the meaning and legacy of feminism, and feminism's relationship more generally to traditions of radical reform and enlightenment.

Perversion For Profit

Author: Whitney Strub
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231520158
Size: 41.22 MB
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While America is not alone in its ambivalence toward sex and its depictions, the preferences of the nation swing sharply between toleration and censure. This pattern has grown even more pronounced since the 1960s, with the emergence of the New Right and its attack on the "floodtide of filth" that was supposedly sweeping the nation. Antipornography campaigns became the New Right's political capital in the 1960s, laying the groundwork for the "family values" agenda that shifted the country to the right. Perversion for Profit traces the anatomy of this trend and the crucial function of pornography in constructing the New Right agenda, which has emphasized social issues over racial and economic inequality. Conducting his own extensive research, Whitney Strub vividly recreates the debates over obscenity that consumed members of the ACLU in the 1950s and revisits the deployment of obscenity charges against purveyors of gay erotica during the cold war, revealing the differing standards applied to heterosexual and homosexual pornography. He follows the rise of the influential Citizens for Decent Literature during the 1960s and the pivotal events that followed: the sexual revolution, feminist activism, the rise of the gay rights movement, the "porno chic" moment of the early 1970s, and resurgent Christian conservatism, which now shapes public policy far beyond the issue of sexual decency. Strub also examines the ways in which the left failed to mount a serious or sustained counterattack to the New Right's use of pornography as a political tool. As he demonstrates, this failure put the Democratic Party at the mercy of Republican rhetoric. In placing debates about pornography at the forefront of American postwar history, Strub revolutionizes our understanding of sex and American politics.