The Women's Liberation Movement Essay

2266 words - 9 pages

Free twenty-four-hour community run day care; abortions on demand; wages for housework were the radical demands of the early women's liberation movement. The book Dear sisters: Dispatches from the Women's Liberation Movement contains a collection of broadsides, cartoons, manifestos, songs and other writings from the early years of the women's movement (1967-1977) which is beaming with energy and the intense spirit of the movement that drastically altered American society.
The editors Rosalyn Baxandall and Linda Gordon have done an incredible job establishing the roots and depth of the second-wave feminist movement. By collecting all the materials into one volume, which were once spread thin among private collections, university archives and out of print anthologies and journals the editors show a diverse movement. It has reminded me how far we have come for not to long ago that domestic violence against women was kept quite, that abortions were done in the shadows, pregnancy and childbirth were thought of as sicknesses, and girls had restricted chances to participate in sports and education defining what women¡¯s liberation embodied. Women¡¯s liberation was just that, setting women free from all these social and political restrictions on their lives. The ideal of the ¡°feminine mystic¡± only applies to a certain class of women, a stay at home mother who also is a sexy wife who pleases her husbands every need. This ideal left many women out, and unable to obtain. Even when this ideal was obtained, many were left unfulfilled. Women then were able to get together as a group to build a consciousness awakening, able to define what is missing in there lives and what needed to be changed. The women's liberation movement, which Dear Sisters discusses, described all that.
In the public opinion, thanks to the help of the media, the participants of the movement have been seen as ¡°man-hating dykes; spoiled, self centered self-pitying women; bra burners¡± or the ever popular "privileged, middle-class white women who had neither knowledge about nor concern for working class women or women of color" to the extent that most women today would not define themselves as feminists while most believe in the same goals as self declared feminists (Baxandall Gordon 2) The major goal which the editors set out to do was to disprove the popular beliefs which were implemented to demonize, depoliticize, and destroy the reputation of second-wave feminists.
An extensive introduction supplies an account of the women's liberation movement, rooting its origins, how it expanded, and...

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