Women's Activist Rights of the 1960's

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During the 1960’s there was a lot of major events that happened in the United States. The 1960’s was known as a decade of “culture and change”, there were lots of political and cultural changes. (Anastakis, 22) One particular movement that was important to society and the country was the Women’s Movement also called the “Feminism Movement”. The first women movement which happened a few decades before focused on gender equality and overcoming different legal problems. The 1960’s women’s movement focused more on different issues such as family, sexuality, workplace issues, and also rights of reproductively. (MacLean, 45) I chose to cover this topic because women have always been influential throughout history, and I being a woman it is important to know about our rights and who paved the way for us.

Women in the sixties were very limited on what they did. A woman was expected to marry in her twenties, and then start a family with her husband. A woman’s main duty was to raise her children, and focus on the home. Author Stephanie Coontz states in her book about sixties women, “The women is not to expect a whole lot out of life. She is someone’s keeper she is her husband and her children’s keeper.” (Coontz, 42) Back in those days, the husband was the head of the household; he made all of the decisions. If there was a divorce to take place the wife would end up with nothing, all the husband’s earnings and property belonged to the husband.

Even though, most women in the sixties were housewives there was a small percent of women who actually worked. Statistics shows that thirty eight percent of women worked jobs such as nursing, teaching, or being a secretary. (Bureau Statistics, 1960-1961) In this era, women were only allowed thes...

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... Zucker, A. N. and Ostrove, J. M. (1998), Political Participation and Feminist Consciousness Among Women Activists of the 1960s. Political Psychology, 19: 349–371. doi: 10.1111/0162-895X.00108

Collins, Gail. When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. New York: Little, Brown & Company, 2009.

Coontz, Stephanie. A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s. New York: Basic Books, 2011. 42.

Friedan, Betty. Life So Far: A Memoir. New York: Touchstone, 2000. 375.

MacLean, Nancy. The American Women's Movement, 1945–2000: A Brief History with Documents (2008)

Rosen, Ruth. The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America. New York: Viking Penguin, 2000. 196.

Schlafly, Phyllis. "'Equal rights' for women: wrong then, wrong now." Los Angeles Times, 8 April 2007.
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