Professor: Barbara Winslow
Brooklyn College
e-mail: purplewins@compuserve.com

SYLLABUS
Live from Feminism!
History, Politics and Culture of the Women's Liberation Movement


COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course looks at the origins, development, politics, culture and exuberance of the radical women's liberation movement, 1965-1975. This 'Second Wave' of feminism was one of the largest protest movements in US history. Its goals, aims, methods, limitations and accomplishments are today subject to debate. Students will be reading original materials from the women's liberation movement, including handwritten minutes, leaflets, newsletters - documents that are not yet available to the public. We will be studying the writings of the early women's liberation activists as well as examining contemporary analyses of the women's liberation movement. One of the many assertions about this movement was that it was all white, middle class, homophobic, racist, anti-mother, anti-children, anti-housewife, in fact almost anti anything. We will examine if such charges have any bearing as we study the women's liberation movement in the context of class, ethnicity, gender, race and sexuality. Outside speakers and media presentations will enrich the course.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

* Demonstrate through written assignments an understanding of the origins, development, limitations and accomplishments of the women's liberation movement.
* Discuss and analyze primary texts
* Critically analyze media representation of movement events
* Use the category of class, ethnicity, gender, race and sexuality in examining social protest movements
* Understand the intersectionality of class, gender, race and sexuality
* Have a greater understanding of the history, politics and culture of post World War II US society.
* Research the history and politics of the women's liberation movement, including the use of computer-based multi-media technology

REQUIRED READINGS:

1. DuPlessis, Rachel Blau and Ann Snitow (editors) The Feminist Memoir Project: Voices  from Women's Liberation, New York, Crown Press, 1998.
2. Echols, Alice, Daring to be Bad, Random House, New York, 1980.
3. Evans, Sara Personal Politics: The Roots of the Women's Liberation Movement in the Civil Rights and the New Left
4.You are to read the announcements of engagements and marriages in the New York Times and any local newspaper, such  as the Dayton Daily News, Detroit Free Press, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's.
5. Alix Kates Shulman, Burning Questions
6. Rita Mae Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle

There will be other readings placed on reserve and marked with an asterisk*
There will be a selection of articles on reserve

COURSE READINGS:

Beal, Frances, "Double Jeopardy: To be Black and Female," in Sisterhood is Powerful, Random House, New York, 1970.

Blee, Kathleen, "Women on the Left/Women on the Right," in No Middle Ground: Women and Social Protest, New York University Press, New York.

Bloom, Alexander and Wini Breines. "Takin' It To The Streets." New York, Oxford University Press, 1995
SNCC Position paper: Women and the Movement
Hayden, Casey and Mary King, "Sex and Caste: A Kind of Memo"
Garson, Barbara, "Freedom is a Big Deal"
Aptheker, Bettina, "Memories of FSM"
First National Chicana Conference
Masaoka, Jan, "I Forgot My Eyes Were Black"
NOW Bill of Rights
Steinem, Gloria, "What Would It Be Like If Women Win"
Radical Women, "No More Miss America"
Principles: New York Radical Women
Redstockings Manifesto
Susan, Barbara, "About My Consciousness Raising"
Mainardi, Pat, "The Politics of Housework"
Women Support Panther Sisters
Free Our Sisters Free Ourselves
Morgan, Robin, Goodbye to All That
Vasquez, Enriqueta Longauex, "The Mexican-American Woman"
Flores, Francisca, "Conference of Mexican Women: Un Remolino"
Oliver, Denise, "The Young Lords Party"
"Asian Women as Leaders"

Cade, Toni, The Black Woman, Signet, New American Library, New York, 1970.

Cisler, Lucinda, "Unfinished Business: Birth Control and Women's Liberation," in Sisterhood is Powerful, Random House, New York, 1970.

Damon Gene, "The Least of These: The Minority Whose Screams Haven't Yet Been Heard, in Sisterhood is Powerful, New York, Random House, 1970

Dunbar, Roxanne, "Female Liberation as the Basis for Social Revolution," in Sisterhood is Powerful, New York, Random House, 1970.

Duplessis, Rachel Blau and Ann Snitow (eds) The Feminist Memoir Project: Voices from Women's Liberation, Crown Press, New York, 1998.

Firestone, Shulamith, The Dialectic of Sex, William Morrow and Company, Inc, NY 1970.

Federici, Sylvia, "Putting Feminism Back on its Feet," in Sayres etc al, The 60's Without Apology," University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

Freeman, Jo, The Politics of Women's Liberation, Longman, New York

Fried, Mrlene Gerber, From Abortion to Reproductive Freedom: Transforming a Movement, South End Press, Boston
Cox, Sharon, "Before Roe v. Wade"
Fishbein, Joan, "Exits and Entrances"
Avery Byllye, "A Question of Survival/A Conspiracy of Silence: Abortion and Black Women's Health"
Smith, Beverly, "Choosing Ourselves: Black Women and Abortion"
Cerullo, Margaret, "Hidden History: An Illegal Abortion in 1968"
Tracy, Susan, "The Abortion"
"Jane," "Just Call Jane"

Haden, Patricia, Donna Middleton and Patricia Robinson, "A Historical and critical Esay for Black Women," in From Feminism to Liberation, (ed.) Edith Hoshina Altbach, Schenkman Publishing Company, Cambridge Mass., 1971.

Hole, Judith and Ellen Levine, "Women's Liberation," The Rebirth of Feminism, Quadrangle Books, New York, 1974

Jackson, Shirley, A. " 'Something About the World': African American Women and Feminism," in Blee, No Middle Ground: Women and Radical Protest, New York University Press, New York.

Johnston, Jill, Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1973.

Kennedy, Florynce, "Institutionalized Oppression vs. the Female," in Sisterhood is Powerful, Random House, New York, 1970.

Koedt, Ann, Ellen Levine, Anita Rapone (eds,) Radical Feminism, New York, Quadrangle Press
Joreen, "The Bitch Manifesto," "The Tyranny of Structurelessness"
Judy Syfers, "Why I Want a Wife"
Cellestine Ware, "Black Feminism"
Anonymous, "Loving Another Woman"
Cisler, Lucinda, "Abortion Law repeal (sort of) a Warning to Women"
Koedt, Ann, "The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm"
Leo, Andre, "ADC: Marriage to the State"
Mehrof, Barbara and Pamela Kearon, "Rape: An Act of Terror"
Radicalesbians, "The Woman Identified Woman"
Allen, Pamela, "Free Space"
"Report from the Congress to Unite Women"
Burris, Barbara, "The Fourth World Manifesto"

Lydon, Susan, "The Politics of Orgasm," in Sisterhood is Powerful, Random House, New York, 1970.

McAfee and Myrna Wood, "Bread and Roses," in From Feminism to Liberation, (ed) Edith Hoshina Altbach, Schenkman Publishing Co., Inc., Cambridge, Mass, 1971.

Millett, Kate, "Sexual Politics (in Literature), in Sisterhood is Powerful, Random House, New York, 1970.

Mitchell, Juliet, "Women: The Longest Revolution," in From Feminism to Liberation (ed) Edith Hoshina Altbach, Schenkman Publishing Co. Inc., Cambridge Mass, 1971.

Morgan, Robin, "Introduction: The Women's Revolution," in Sisterhood is Powerful, New York, Random House, 1970.

----------------, "Goodbye to All That,"

Nochlin, Linda, "Why Have there Been No Great Women Artists," in Women Art and Power, Harper and Row, New York

Norton, Eleanor Holmes, "For Sadie and Maude, in Sisterhood is Powerful, Random House, New York, 1970.

Paul, Sonya and Robert Perkinson, "Winona LaDuke," in Blee, No Common Ground: Women and Social Protest, New York, New York University Press.

Piercy, Marge, "The Grand Coolie Dam," in Sisterhood is Powerful, Random House, New York, 1970.

Polatnick, M. Rivka, "Diversity in Women's Liberation Ideology: How a Black and White group of the 1960's Viewed Motherhood," Signs: A Journal of Women and Culture in Society, Vol. 21 Number 3, Spring, 1996.

Pope, Jackie, "Women in the Welfare Rights Struggle: The Brooklyn Welfare Action Council," in Women and Social Protest," (eds.) Guida West and Rhoda Lois Blumberg, New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.

Robnet, Belinda, "African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Spontaneity and Emotion in Social Movement Theory," in Blee, No Common Ground: Women and Social Protest, New York, New York University Press.

Rosen, Ruth, "The Female Generation Gap: Daughters of the Fifties and the Origins of Contemporary American Feminism," in Kerber, Linda, Alice Kessler-Harris, Kathryn Kish Sklar (eds) U.S. History as Women's History: New Feminist Essays, University of North carolina Press, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Rowbotham, Sheila, A Century of Women, Viking, NY, 1997.

------------, "Women's Liberation and the New Politics," Virago, London, 1983.

Sealander, Martha and Dorothy Smith, "The Rise and Fall of Feminist Organizations in the 1970's: Dayton as a Case Study," in Moses, Claire Goldberg and Heidi Hartman (eds.) U.S. Women in Struggle: A Feminist Studies Anthology, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago

Shelley, Martha, "Notes of a Radical Lesbian," in Sisterhood is Powerful, Random House, New York, 1970.

Sherfey, Mary Jane, "A Theory of Female Sexuality," in Sisterhood is Powerful, Random House, New York, 1971.

Sutherland, Elizabeth, "Colonized Women: The Chicana," in Sisterhood is Powerful, Random House, New York, 1970.

Tischler, Barbara, "Voices of Protest: Women and the GI Anti-War Press, Sights on the Sixties, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, N.J.

Weissten, Naomi, " 'Kinder. Kuche, Kirche' " as Scientific Law:Psychology Constructs the Fenale, in Sisterhood is Powerful, Random House, New York, 1971.

Willis, Ellen, "Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism," in Sayers, Sohnya, Anders Stephenson, Stanley Aronowitz and Frederick Jameson, The 60's Without Apology, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.


ASSIGNMENTS:

* First paper:
  Oral interview. You are to interview (preferably) your grandmother. The interview should   discuss the changes in her life as it   pertains to work, community, family, politics, sexuality (if possible) as well as attitudes towards the women's movement.
* Second paper:
  Using the newspaper stories about marriage in the '50's, '60's, '70's '80's and '90's, write a   paper commenting on the social   history of marriage and marriage columns of the past 40 years. What has changed? What have the readings taught you about   the social function of   marriage? About marriage and race? Marriage and class? Marriage and sexuality?
* Third paper:
  You can choose any topic you wish as long as it pertains to this course. You are going to   write a five to seven page paper.   You must hand in a topic with a clearly stated thesis; you   must hand in a working bibliography. Your bibliography must   include three books, three   journal articles, three cybersouces and must contain at least three primary source references.   Students must hand in a first draft as well as the final draft.
* Journal:
  Every two weeks your journal is due.

GRADING POLICY:

Class participation 10%
Journal 25%
Oral history paper 20%
Social history of marriage 20%
Final paper 25%

 


COURSE OUTLINE:

First week: THE FIFTIES
Readings:
On reserve: Ruth Rosen, "The Female Generation Gap: Daughters of the Fifties and the Origins of Contemporary American Feminism;" Kathleen Blee, "Introduction: Women on the Left/Women on the Right;" Belinda Robnet, "African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement;" Sheila Rowbotham, "The Fifties," from A Century of Women.
Introduction and Chapter One from Evans

Supplementary:
On reserve: Wini Breines, Young White and Miserable: Growing Up Female in the Fifties; Chapter Two, in Douglas Miller, "The Feminine Dilemma," in On Our Own..., Solinger, "Abortion Politics and History," "Pregnancy and Power before Roe v. Wade," in Abortion Wars.
Media: All About Eve
Issues:
Describe the role and status of women in the US from 1945-1960. We will be discussing family, work, sexuality, religion, community, race, class, politics and community.

Week 2
Readings: Continue Evans
*SNCC Position Paper
*Casey Hayden and Mary King, "Sex and Caste"
Issues: The Civil Rights movement

Week 3 Explosion! The Emergence of a Women's Liberation Movement
Readings:
Finish Evans
*Bloom and Breines, Takin' it to the Streets, Bettina Aptheker, "Memories of FSM;" *Barbara Winslow, "From the Woman Question to Women's Liberation,"
"Primary and Secondary Contradictions in Seattle, 1967-1969," in The Feminist Memoir Project.

Issues: consciousness
Media: The Black Woman

Week 4 Women's Liberation: Ideology and Action
Readings: The Feminist Memoir Project
First paper, oral history project due
Issues: Different movements? Different Struggles

Week 5 The Women's Liberation Movement Develops
Readings: Alice Echols, Daring to be Bad, Alix Kates Shulman, Burning Questions
Issues: What was meant by "Sisterhood is Powerful."

Week 7 Voices from Feminism:
Readings: *all in Sisterhood is Powerful, Redstockings Manifesto
Issues: the development of feminist theory - marriage, rape housewifery

Paper due on social history of marriage

Week 8 Race and Feminism
Readings:
*in Bloom and Breines, "First National Chicana Conference," "I Forgot My Eyes Were Black," Asian Women as Leaders," "Conference of Mexican Women: Un Remolino," "Women Support Panther Sisters," "I Forgot My Eyes Were Black," "The Mexican-American Woman;" *Polatnick, M. Riva, "Diversity on Women's Liberation Ideology: How a Black and White Group of the 1960's Viewed Motherhood; in Blee, "Winona La Duke;" in Radical Feminism, "Black Feminism;" in Sisterhood is Powerful, "Double Jeopardy:To be Black and Female;" "For Sadie and Maud;" "Colonized Woman: The Chicacan;" in Redstockings of the Women's Liberation Movement, "On the National Black Feminist Organization;" "Tactics and Tools."
Issues:
Antagonisms and Alliances: intersectionality between race and gender

Week 9 Sexuality
Readings:
in Sisterhood is Powerful, "The Politics of Orgasm," "A Theory on Female Sexuality," "Sexual Politics:in Literature;" in Radical Feminism, "The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm;" "Why I Want a Wife;"

Issues: Gender, sexuality and feminism

Week 10 Abortion
Readings:
in Our Bodies Ourselves, "abortion;" all in From Abortion to Reproductive Freedom; in Radical Feminism, "Abortion Law Repeal: (sort of) a Warning to Women;" in Sisterhood is Powerful, "Unfinished Business: Birth Control and Women's Liberation;" Barbara Winslow, "Let Him/Her Live: Women's Liberation and the and the Seattle Abortion Reform Movement," all in Solinger, Abortion Wars: A Half Century of Struggle
Issues:
Why was abortion a 'cutting edge' issue? Was the WLM successful is raising the issue? If so how? If not, why not. What were the successes and limitations of Roe v Wade?

Week 11 Lesbian Liberation
Readings:
Rubyfruit Jungle; in Radical Feminism, "Loving Other Women; " "The Woman Identified Woman;" from Sisterhood is Powerful, "Notes of a Radical Lesbian;" "The Least of These: The Minority Whose Screams Haven't Yet Been Heard."
Issues:
Origins of the Lesbian and Gay liberation movement; connections between sexism and homophobia; are sexuality and gender separate constructs?

Weeks 12, 13, 14 Feminist Theory
Readings:
all in Feree and Yancey; selections from Jo Freeman, The Politics of Women's Liberation, Hole and Levine, Women's Liberation; all in Altbach and Hoshino; selections from Firestone, Dialectic of Sex; selections from Jill Johnston, Lesbian Nation; in Radical Feminism, "The Bitch Manifesto;" "Why I Want a Wife;" "Rape: An Act of Terror; "ADC Marriage to the State;" "Free Space;" "Report from the Congress to Unite Women;" in Sisterhood is Powerful, ""Introduction: the Women's Revolution;" "Kinder Kuche, Kirche as Scientific Law: Psychology Constructs the Female;" "The Grand Coolie Dam;" "Institutionalized Oppression v. the Female;" "The Politics of Housework;" "Female Liberation as the Basis for Social Revolution;" Linda Nochlin, "Why are there no Great Women Artists."
Issues:
Women's Liberation and the left; the relevance or irrelevance of Marxism and feminism; radical feminist critique of social institutions such as marriage, the welfare state; feminism and organization; radical feminism v reform feminism v socialist/marxist feminism.

Week 15 The Women's Liberation Movement reevaluated
Readings: selections from Sealander and Smith; "The Rise and Fall...Dayton as a Case Study;" Tischler, "Voices of Protest...;" Miller, "Feminism and Environmentalism" Sheila Rowbotham, chapters on the 60's, '70's, '80's and '90's.
Issues: What happened to feminism? Accomplishments of the women's liberation movement? Shortcomings? Re-evaluation of race, class, sexuality and gender? Will there be, should there be a Fourth, Fifth Wave of feminism?

Final paper due