Chapter 20 Section 2 Feminism • The Feminist movement emerged in the 1960s. • Feminism is the belief that men and women should be politically, economically, and socially equal. Women during World War II • During World War II, while men were overseas fighting in the war, women took their place in the workforce. Role as Homemakers • After the war, many women returned to their roles as homemakers. • However, more women took jobs outside the home during the 1950s. Not Equal • By the mid-1960s, almost half of American women worked outside the home, often in low-paying jobs. • Signs of unequal status of women included: – newspapers separated job ads by gender – clubs refused women memberships – banks denying women credit – women often were paid less for the same work as men Presidential Commission on the Status of Women • In 1961, President Kennedy set up the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. • The commission was headed by Eleanor Roosevelt. • The commission’s report helped create a network of feminist activists who lobbied Congress for women’s laws. Congressional Action • Congress passed the Equal Pay Act in 1963. – It outlawed paying men more than women for the same job. • Congress also added Title VII (7) to the 1964 Civil Rights Act which outlawed gender discrimination. Betty Friedan and NOW • Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, was one of the founders of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966. • Friedan described the purpose of NOW, which according her was to confront the conditions which denied women the equality of opportunity and freedom of choice. Gloria Steinem • Another important author and the editor of Ms. Magazine was Gloria Steinem. ERA • In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the women’s movement fought battles on many fronts. • It had many successes but also faced strong opposition. • In 1972 Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). – If 38 states ratified this amendment, protection against gender discrimination would become part of the Constitution. Opposition to ERA • By 1979, 35 states had done so. • However, opposition to the ERA had begun to grow. – Opponents believed ERA would take away traditional rights, allow women to be drafted, or eliminate laws giving women special protection in the workforce. Phyllis Schlafly • A vocal opponent of the ERA was Phyllis Schlafly. • She organized the nationwide Stop-ERA campaign. • By the end of 1979, four states had voted to rescind their approval. • The ERA failed in 1982, unable to gain ratification by three-fourths of the states. Banning Discrimination in Education • A major accomplishment of the women’s movement was gaining greater equality for women in education. • Leaders of the movement pushed lawmakers to pass federal laws banning discrimination in education. Title IX • In 1972 Congress passed a collection of laws known as the Educational Amendments. • One part of these laws was Title IX. • It stopped federally funded schools from discriminating against females in nearly all areas, including admissions and sports. Abortion • Another important goal for many women was the repeal of laws against abortion. • Until 1973, the right to regulate abortion was given to the states. • This was in keeping with the original plan of the Constitution. • In the mid-1800s, states also had passed laws prohibiting abortion except to save the mother’s life. Roe v. Wade • In the late 1960s, some states began adopting more liberal abortion laws. • In 1973 the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that state governments could not regulate abortion during the first three months of pregnancy. • This was interpreted as being within a woman’s constitutional right to privacy. Right to Life • The decision led to the rise of the right-to-life movement. • Members of this movement considered abortion an absolute wrong and wanted it to be banned. • The heated battle over abortion continues today. Outcomes of the Feminist Movement • The women’s movement has greatly affected society. • Many more women have pursued college degrees and careers outside of the home since the 1970s. • Many employers now offer ways to help make work life more compatible with family life. Income Gap & Professionals • Still, there remains a wide income gap between men and women. • Most working women still hold lower paying jobs. • In professional positions, however, women have made dramatic gains since the 1970s.