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Notes on Women's Liberation Movement and Black Feminism in the U.S.

TimeMarch 14, 2012

from:Glasper, Dr. Kevin

to:Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies Lecture on Women’s Liberation Movement and Black Feminism in the U.S. for March 14, 2012<o:p></o:p>

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I.                   Feminism is a concept that has been around for a long time, but took on new meaning during the Women’s Liberation Movement: it is defined as a theory of the political, economic, and the social equality of the female gender. In fact the feminist movement is another name for the Women’s liberation Movement.<o:p></o:p>

a.     Mary Wollstonecraft was one of the first feminist when published a work called A Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1792 in which she advocated for the social and moral equality of sexes.<o:p></o:p>

b.     Traditionally speaking women were limited to domestic activities in the home such as cooking, cleaning, the rearing of the children and being obedient to their husbands.<o:p></o:p>

c.      The first wave of feminism came in the 19th Century and one of the biggest issues was giving women the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony fought for Women’s Suffrage. This came with the passage of the 19th Amendment. <o:p></o:p>

d.     The second wave of feminism came during the early 1960s and ran through the late 1980s. During this era women fought for the right to equal pay and the right to be in control of their own bodies/protective rights over reproductive decisions i.e. the right to have an abortion etc. Roe v. Wade case in 1973, the court ruled that a woman along with her doctor could choose an abortion in the first trimester of her pregnancy without legal restriction, with some restrictions in the later months based on the right to privacy concept.<o:p></o:p>

II.                 Second Wave of Feminism<o:p></o:p>

a.     During the second wave, Betty Friedan and some others founded the organization known as the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966 and it became incorporated in 1967. In 2008, it was reported that NOW had 500,000 members.<o:p></o:p>

b.     NOW was successful in getting the Equal Rights Amendment passed in 1972<o:p></o:p>

III.              Black Feminism<o:p></o:p>

a.     Black Feminism-a theoretical concept that emphasizes the need for Black women to unite against the struggles of race, class, political and gender oppression.<o:p></o:p> Two important concepts/variables to keep in mind that is relevant to black feminism is race and gender. Black feminism is race and gender specific in terms of its conceptual emphasis.

b.     It became apparent that Black women had some major differences in terms of their struggles for progress that White women did not have to address: Such rights as voting, equal pay, better jobs, better housing, and better education were all of equal desire, but what separated Black women from White women were their race.<o:p></o:p>

c.      It was believed that Black women were disrespected by everyone including their black brethren.<o:p></o:p>

d.     The National Association of Colored Women was formed in 1896. <o:p></o:p>

e.     Black women such as Amy Jacques Garvey wrote about the plight of black women in the Negro World. Dr. Patricia Hill Collins a University of Maryland, College Park professor has written about the Black Feminist Anthology.<o:p></o:p>

We see touches and spices of Black Feminism in books and films like The Color Purple, For Colored Girls, The Women of Brewster’s Place, Ditch Digger’s Daughters, Their Eyes were Watching God and Eves Bayou.