Friday, November 7, 2008, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
Housewives, Citizenship, and Feminism in Postwar America
The Value of Housework, Queer Competition, and the Defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment, 1978-1982
Alison Lefkovitz, University of Chicago
This paper argues that ERA proponents believed women’s inequality could only be fully shattered by compensating wives for their unpaid labor as homemakers. The conservative movement disavowed this strategy and argued that granting entitlements to homemakers would transform the vast majority of families into matriarchies or welfare families. The ERA would simultaneously grant gay couples the right to marry and thereby create another perverse alternative to the “traditional” family. The Right interpreted women’s equality as offering a world where all families were equally deviant, a cost many Americans agreed was too high to pay for formal gender equality.
“A Golden Apple Filled With Acid”: The Political Citizenship of Working-Class Housewives and the Campaign to Defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in Post-World War II America
Emily LaBarbera Twaróg, University of Illinois at Chicago
Commentator: Lynn Weiner, Roosevelt University
All papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Jenny Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312-255-3524. Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.
The Newberry Library Seminar on Women and Gender
Co-sponsored by the History Departments of Northeastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at the University of Chicago
The Newberry Library
Dr. William M. Scholl Center for
American History and Culture
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, Illinois 60610
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