Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:14 PM
niyad (36,314 posts)
feminism's long march-you've come a long way, baby (or have you?)
Feminism's Long March : Youíve Come a Long Way, Baby (Or Have You?)
The Womenís Movement, the Next Half-Century
by Ruth Rosen
Still, women have come a long way since the mid-twentieth century, and itís worth considering just how far -- and just how far we have to go.
Once Upon a Time
These days it may be hard for some to believe, but before the womenís movement burst on the scene in the late 1960s, newspapers published ads for jobs on different pages, segregated by gender. Employers legally paid women less than men for the same work. Some bars refused to serve women and all banks denied married women credit or loans, a practice which didnít change until 1974. Some states even excluded women from jury duty.
. . . .
A Half-Century to Go
If the womenís movement often surprised and sometimes blindsided men, it also radically expanded Americaís democratic promise of equality. Women are now everywhere. No one is shocked in 2013 when a woman enters an operating room or a lecture hall. More than half the undergraduates at most universities are women.
. . .
As an activist and historian, Iím still shocked that women activists (myself included) didnít add violence against women to those three demands back in 1970. Fear of male violence was such a normal part of our lives that it didnít occur to us to highlight it -- not until feminists began, during the 1970s, to publicize the wife-beating that took place behind closed doors and to reveal how many women were raped by strangers, the men they dated, or even their husbands.
. . . .
So, yes, weíve come a long way, but without achieving full access to legal abortion, comprehensive childcare, or equal pay -- those three demands from so many decades ago. Nor have we won the right to enjoy public space without fearing violence, rape, or worse.
. . . .
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