Just over 50 years ago, in a house beside the Hudson river, a woman in her mid-30’s, Betty Goldstein Friedan, struggled in isolation, against impossible, ancient, even invisible glass-ceiling barriers, to write a book which in turn would ignite a blaze, that would finally change the world.But in the beginning, in this suburban beautiful spot, her path was steep, lonely, and up-hill.
My students and most young people today can barely imagine the sleepy, patriarchal Eisenhower years of the 1950’s.As Friedan remembered:Men headed every institution;“there was no “woman’s vote;”women voted as their husbands did.No pollster of political candidate talked about “women’s issues”;women were not taken that seriously..., did not take themselves seriously.Abortion was a word not printed in newspapers;it was a sleazy crime, that shamed and terrified and often killed women, and whose practitioners could go to jail.”“...Men all over the planet took for granted their right to beat or abuse their wives.”
Friedan had worked as a journalist until, she remembers,being “fired from a newspaper job, for being pregnant.”Now she was struggling uneasily, to live the life of a middle-class American housewife.“I like other women thought there was something wrong with me, because I didn’t have an orgasm waxing the kitchen floor.We didn’t admit it to each other if we felt there should be more in life than peanut butter sandwiches with the kids.“
A turning point came when in 1957 she collected 200 questionnaires from other Smith college classmates.As she read of how her well-educated friends and contemporaries had fared in life since college, wheels began to turn in her mind.She began to think, to read, and to write.
In 1959, she signed a book contract.“I got a baby-sitter three days a week, and took the bus from Rockland County to the City...She had a burning desire to write;but, she was also a suburban wife, with a commuting husband, and three young children, aged nine, five, and one.
The National Organization for Men Against Sexism condemns the latest hateful message from Rush Limbaugh and encourages his removal from the airwaves. Limbaugh is one of the leading spokesmen for the most extreme side of the Republican Party and has a long history of sexist, racist, heterosexist and other indecent statements. As men and women of conscience, we cannot allow this man’s voice to be the only one heard.
Georgetown University Law Student Sandra Fluke spoke before a Congressional Committee considering President Obama's decision to require coverage of contraceptive medical care for women. She sought to point out that the treatment is used for medical conditions in addition to preventing pregnancy so the opponents are seeking to prevent women from obtaining needed medical treatment. Limbaugh, who is one of the most powerful men in the media, launched a vicious personal attack on the student using some of the most offensive slurs in the English language. NOMAS agrees with domestic violence advocates who refer to these slurs as the "language of abuse." Our analysis understands that such misogyny is used to silence, dehumanize, and disempower not just Sandra Fluke, but all women who may give voice to their rights and concerns that oppose institutional sexism and inequality.
Just over 50 years ago, in a house near here where we stand, a woman in her mid-30’s, Betty Goldstein Freidan, struggled in isolation, against impossible, ancient, even invisible glass-ceiling barriers, to write a book which in turn would ignite a blaze, that would finally change the world. But in the beginning, in this beautiful spot beside the Hudson, her path was steep, lonely, and up-hill.
Pictures Never Lie ? Think about the hundreds or thousands pictures of Women that we see, every month and year, in magazines, on TV, in the movies, in advertising. How do these pictures compare with what we see when we look at the real women around us, every day?
In a country where coverage of women's lives and achievements is hardly equal to that of men’s, where pictures of women scientists, writers, and thinkers rarely appear in the popular press, we are awash in photographs of anonymous young women, selected and pictured to sell products, attract attention, and please male viewers.
Accountability has become a watchword in the movement to end domestic violence. It is almost impossible to be involved in any work related to ending domestic violence without hearing the word accountability bandied about. But while some might glaze over at its mention, to battered women, their advocates and allies, it is an essential tenet in the movement for freedom.
There are perhaps as many definitions of feminism and feminist theory as there are people who declare that they are feminists. Ben Agger (1998) states that the major achievement of feminist theory is to make the politics of sex and gender central to understanding oppression. However, feminist theory is not only about understanding but also about action.