National Organization for Women- Statement of Purpose

Three Points:

–       Says that the social restraint of keeping women in the home has been surpassed by the increased life span. Since women can live longer, the majority of their life is not spent raising children and thus they have the capacity to strive for more personal accomplishments other than domestically. In addition, technology has reduced the work in the home as there are less” chores” for women to do. This allows for women to expand from previous societal restraints because there is more time and opportunity for them to excel outside of domesticity.

–       NOW wants more federal backing for the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 so that women are not discriminated against in the work place. They state that this has occurred numerous times, and despite legislation, has yet to be addressed to the full extent that it needs to be.

–       They show many statistics in higher education and higher power jobs that show the disparity between men and women- women making up 51% of the population but rarely having jobs that pay well and that give them societal power (for example, at this time only 4% of all lawyers were women). This causes them to call for more educational opportunity for women and more jobs that would allow them to claim as equal members of society to men.

Two Questions:

– How did the feminist movement in America affect similar movements globally, and how did those other movements play into American feminist identities?

– Was the reaction of men towards feminist issues more accepting and supportive than in the past, or was there still resistance?

One Observation:

– I think it is important to see how the feminist movements work alongside the Civil Rights Movement for racial inequality. Both being subjugated to unfair social standings and inequality from the white male led governing body, on many fronts they were able to support each other and stand in solidarity for equal treatment. Specifically in the Statement of Purpose from the National Organization for Women, they discuss the double victimization of black women in society, and how they are being undervalued by two different aspects of inequality in America.

2 thoughts on “National Organization for Women- Statement of Purpose

  1. Another point brought up in the document which I found interesting was the claim that the position of women actually declined in the 50s and 60s. During World War II, women were compelled to take on traditional male roles in order to fill the labor gap that existed from men fighting overseas. World War II actually bolstered the role of the American woman, giving her more power than ever before. With the return of men after the war came the return of a male-dominated society, and many women returned to their previous spots in the home.

  2. I think the idea that woman shouldn’t spend their entire lives in the home is interesting. I wonder if it only took a longer lifespan for this idea to come out? It seems like a round-about way to get to the fact that woman can leave the house and can perform jobs in society. In a fairly aggressive article it seems a little passive.

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