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POLSC303: Feminist Politics

Unit 3: Second Wave Feminism   Though the exact dates of the Second Wave of the feminist movement are disputed, most agree that it began in the 1960s and lasted through the early 1990s.  Whereas the First Wave addressed political equality, activists in the Second Wave addressed cultural as well as political issues.  The mantra that “the personal is political” really came alive in the Second Wave.  For instance, while at the same time seeking an equal rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the Second Wave also focused on representations of women in advertising.  The Second Wave, which began with concerns about gender equality at work and in the home, ended with a debate within the feminist movement over how to define sexual exploitation.

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 18 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 3.1: 14.25 hours
 

☐    Sub-subunit 3.1.1: 10.25 hours

☐    Sub-subunit 3.1.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 3.75 hours

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Articulate some of the major concerns of Second Wave feminism. - Articulate some of the principal arguments of Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Friedan. - Apply Second Wave feminist critiques to issues of gender, work, and family. - Explain the historical mechanisms that led to Roe v. Wade. - Define some of the key issues in the debate over reproductive rights in the last decade. - Explain the history of the National Organization for Women. - Evaluate the Equal Rights Amendment.

3.1 Key Issues in the Second Wave   3.1.1 Work and Family   3.1.1.1 Changing Role of Women in the Family and in the Workplace   - Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Ann Ferguson and Rosemary Hennessy’s “Feminists Perspectives on Class and Work” Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Ann Ferguson and Rosemary Hennessy’s “Feminists Perspectives on Class and Work” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire entry.  Feminists who engage with concerns about work and class often find themselves at the intersection of Marxism and feminism.  In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, class politics of the left in the U.S., Britain, and Europe helped to shape feminist politics.  This reading offers a discussion of class and gender in the context of the sexual division of labor.  This reading should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
 
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  • Reading: Nancy Sink’s “Women’s Liberation Movement: 1960s - 1980s” Link: Nancy Sink’s “Women’s Liberation Movement: 1960s - 1980s” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the brief history and timeline of the Women’s Liberation Movement, and note the role of Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Friedan, who you will be reading more about later in the unit.  You might also consider spending some time exploring the suggested websites for more information on the movement, as well as on Second Wave feminism more generally.  Studying this reading should take you approximately 20 minutes to complete.
     
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  • Reading: National Organization for Women: “Homemaker’s Bill of Rights: Economic Recognition for Homemakers” (1978) Link: National Organization for Women: “Homemaker’s Bill of Rights: Economic Recognition for Homemakers” (1978) (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Just as the Founding Fathers created the Declaration of Independence as a statement of grievances and a demand for rights against the oppressive monarchy in Great Britain, Second Wave feminists created a homemaker’s “bill of rights,” citing grievances and a demand for rights in the face of what they perceived as an oppressively patriarchal culture in the U.S.  Read the Homemaker’s Bill of Rights.  This reading should take you 20 minutes to complete.
     
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3.1.1.1.1 Simone de Beauvoir   - Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Debra Bergoffen’s “Simone de Beauvoir” Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Debra Bergoffen’s “Simone de Beauvoir” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Simone de Beauvoir was an important feminist writer, thinker, and philosopher.  Her book The Second Sex examines how both the natural and social sciences, as well as European literary, social, political, and religious traditions, produced a culture in which women were widely thought be naturally inferior, thus justifying patriarchal domination.  Read the entire entry on Simone de Beauvoir.  This reading should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
 
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  • Lecture: iTunes U: Duke University’s Simone Beauvoir Today: Linda Zerilli’s “Reading Beauvoir in the 21st Century” Link: iTunes U: Duke University’s Simone Beauvoir Today: Linda Zerilli’s “Reading Beauvoir in the 21st Century” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Simone de Beauvoir’s essays continue to inform contemporary feminist thinkers and writers.  Watch Professor Linda Zerilli’s analysis of the ongoing influence of Simone de Beauvoir.  This lecture should take you approximately 45 minutes to complete.
     
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3.1.1.1.2 Betty Friedan   - Reading: Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique: “Chapter 5: The Sexual Solipsism of Sigmund Freud” Link: Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique: “Chapter 5: The Sexual Solipsism of Sigmund Freud” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire text.  Chapter 5 of Betty Friedan’s best-selling 1963 The Feminine Mystique lays out Friedan’s contention that the dominance of Freud’s psychoanalytic theories was instrumental in perpetuating stereotypes of women as inferior to men and in justifying women’s secondary status as citizens and as professionals.  This reading should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
 
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  • Web Media: PBS’s The Open Mind: Richard D. Heffner’s Interview with Betty Friedan: “Rethinking Feminism” Link: PBS’s The Open Mind: Richard D. Heffner’s Interview with Betty Friedan: “Rethinking Feminism”  (Flash)
     
    Instructions: Watch the video interview with Betty Friedan, paying special attention to her debate with the interviewer regarding the changing role of women in the family and in the workplace during this era of feminist politics.  This video should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
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3.1.1.2 Changing Roles of Working Men and Women in the Home   - Reading: The American Prospect: Linda Hirshman’s “America’s Stay-at-Home Feminists” Link: The American Prospect: Linda Hirshman’s “America’s Stay-at-Home Feminists” (HTML)
 
Instructions: When retired Brandeis professor Linda Hirshman published her column, originally titled “Homeward Bound,” in The American Prospect in 2005, media and cultural elites responded with a conversation about the changing roles of working men and women in the home.  Some criticized Hirshman’s methodology; others criticized her suggestion that women are smart to marry “beneath their own pay grade.”  Some championed her call for men to help working women break the glass ceiling at home, while some men insisted that Hirshman was not giving them enough credit for the work they were already doing at home.
 
As you read, consider the following questions: how has the debate about the role of women and men in the home shifted in the last fifty years?  To what extent do you agree or disagree with Hirshman’s main arguments.  Why?
 
Reading and answering the questions above should take you approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
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  • Reading: Slate Magazine: Emily Bazelon’s “Understanding Betty Friedan: Why Linda Hirshman Doesn’t” Link: Slate Magazine: Emily Bazelon’s “Understanding Betty Friedan: Why Linda Hirshman Doesn’t” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this essay by legal journalist and Slate Magazine editor Emily Bazelon.  The author offers a critique of Hirshman’s arguments in the context of Betty Friedan’s written work and personal and public statements.  This reading should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
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3.1.1.3 Gender in Society: A Shifting Balance?   - Reading: The Atlantic: Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men” Link: The Atlantic: Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire story.  After reading Hanna Rosin’s much discussed 2010 cover story for The Atlantic, which argues that women are coming to dominate professional and academic circles in the twenty-first century, do some web research.  Try to look for critiques of Rosin’s data and work.  If you were assigned a critical thought essay on Rosin’s piece, what would your principal argument (thesis statement) be?  This reading and research should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes complete.
 
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3.1.2 Reproductive Rights   3.1.2.1 Roe v. Wade   - Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Debra Satz’s “Feminist Perspectives on Reproduction and the Family” Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Debra Satz’s “Feminist Perspectives on Reproduction and the Family” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire entry.  Second Wave feminists were explicit in their demands that the personal is political.  In this reading, the fundamental assumption underlying this argument – that the allegedly private realms of family, sex, and reproduction must be part of political discourse and debate – is presented.  This reading should take you approximately 2 hours to complete.
 
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  • Web Media: Internet Archive: Dorothy Fadiman’s “When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories” Link: Internet Archive: Dorothy Fadiman’s “When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories” (MP4)

    Instructions: As you watch the video, consider how and whether contemporary debates about reproductive rights and birth control adequately take into account the history of women’s efforts in and reasons for seeking such freedoms.  Viewing this video should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
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3.1.2.2 The Debate over Reproductive Rights in Contemporary Politics   - Web Media: PBS’s Frontline: “The Last Abortion Clinic” Link: PBS’s Frontline: “The Last Abortion Clinic” (Flash)
 
Instructions: Watch the Frontline video on the pro-life movement.  Even though religion and morality play important roles in fueling the debate, focus on the key constitutional issues raised in the film.  Viewing this video should take you approximately 1 hour to complete.
 
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  • Web Media: PBS’s NOW: “Democrats and the New Politics of Abortion” Link: PBS’s NOW: “Democrats and the New Politics of Abortion” (Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and view the entire video.  As attitudes about gay rights have become more liberal in the early twenty-first century, attitudes about abortion have become slightly more conservative.  The video engages with this shift and explores how the Democratic Party – traditionally the party of reproductive rights – has changed in response.  Viewing this video should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
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3.2 The Equal Rights Movement   3.2.1 National Organization of Women (NOW)   - Reading: National Organization for Women Link: National Organization for Women (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above, and spend at least 1 hour with the materials on the National Organization for Women website, especially looking at its history in light of the contemporary issues it highlights.
 
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3.2.2 The Equal Rights Amendment (1972)   The U.S. Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972.  However, the states did not ratify the 27th Amendment, so it was not incorporated into the Constitution.  Below are a number of articles and web media about this topic for you to explore.

  • Reading: History.com: This Day in History, Mar. 22, 1972: “Equal Rights Amendment Passed by Congress” Link: History.com: This Day in History, Mar. 22, 1972: “Equal Rights Amendment Passed by Congress” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please click on the link above, and read the entire article.  Many people do not realize that the Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress.  It just has not been ratified by 38 states, or three-fourths of the states required by the Constitution to add an amendment.  This reading should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
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  • Reading: History.com: “Alice Paul” Link: History.com: “Alice Paul” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Alice Paul, whose life spanned both the first and second waves of feminism, has been honored by the Alice Paul Institute in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, as “the architect of some of the most outstanding political achievements on behalf of women in the 20th century.” [1] Read this short biography of Alice Paul.  This reading should take you approximately 15 minutes to complete.
     
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    [1] From http://www.alicepaul.org/alicepaul.htm.

  • Reading: Alice Paul Institute: “The Equal Rights Amendment” Link: Alice Paul Institute: “The Equal Rights Amendment” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Using the menu on the left side of the page, read the Overview and History of the Equal Rights Amendment, as well as the FAQs.  Do you think that the amendment might pass in the future?  Why, or why not?  This reading should take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
     
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  • Web Media: YouTube: Firing Line, with William F. Buckley, Jr. (March 30, 1973): “The Equal Rights Amendment” Link: YouTube: Firing Line, with William F. Buckley, Jr. (March 30, 1973): “The Equal Rights Amendment” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch legendary conservative thinker William F. Buckley, Jr., moderate a debate among ERA supporters and detractors.  Viewing this video and pausing to take notes should take less than 15 minutes to complete.
     
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  • Reading: On the Issues Magazine (Spring 2009): Jennifer S. Macleod’s “Equal Rights Amendment Still Brings out Ranters” Link: On the Issues Magazine (Spring 2009): Jennifer S. Macleod’s “Equal Rights Amendment Still Brings out Ranters” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Both supporters and foes of the Equal Rights Amendment continue to debate the legislation in the early twenty-first century.  Read this article by the National Coordinator of the ERA Campaign Network.  This reading should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.
     
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