Abortion And The Feminist Movement Essays

Abortion And The Feminist Movement Essays

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In the summer of 1999, three women entered a Fair, a rock concert organized by and for women musicians and singers, wearing rags and shirts with the phrase “Peace Begins in the Womb.” They walked to a line of information booths representing various women’s causes and interests, ultimately standing next to the booths of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The three protesters, members of Feminists for Life, a group organized around the claim that opposition to abortion is the most authentically feminist position, had applied for booth space at the Fair that year and had been denied. The activists wore rags to convey what they saw as their forced marginalization in the feminist movement as punishment for their efforts against abortion. NOW and Planned Parenthood, larger organizations that supported abortion rights, had both been granted booth space, and the members of Feminists for Life bought concert tickets to stage their demonstration and silently protest their exclusion (“Meet FFL Activists” 2002).


It doesn’t really matter that the rock concert, organized for several years by popular musician and songwriters, it was not explicitly feminist. It provided a venue in which to contest the very definition of the identity “feminist.” An extremely successful commercial endeavor to prove that women did not need to tour with male musicians to sell tickets, many described the tour environment as inspired by feminist values. In this spirit, promoters granted space to organizations supporting women’s causes from rape and incest help lines to cancer research foundations. The groups used their tables to display information and promote themselves and their causes. It’s...


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...rd synthetic approaches that adapt to the analytic problem at hand. This is a promising development, one that is likely to aid in the development of robust concepts, often organized around questions of how activists translate opportunities into mobilization and how institutional politics processes and manages the challenges of protest mobilization.

Scholars have also responded to the new movements of our time, extending the analytical frame of social movements to consider a broader geographic diversity of cases, transnational activism, fundamentalism, and terrorism. Underlying such studies is the notion that concepts and methods developed in the study of a relatively limited set of cases can be developed to cope with a broader range of phenomena. These developments make the study of social movements an especially promising, and potentially important, field of study.

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