Women played important rolesin the Civil Rights Movement, from to serving as lawyers on school segregationlawsuits and leading local civil rights organizations. Their efforts to wereoften overshadowed by men, who still get more credit and acknowledgement forits successes in historical narratives.
Many women we subject to genderdiscrimination and sexual harassment during movement. The civil rightmovement opened women eyes to how not only blacks were denied rights , but manywomen also were. They later turned towards the feminist movement in the 1970s. Womenstarted demanded equal pay for equal work and pushed for the government tosupport and enforce legislation that stopped gender discrimination.
WhenCongress debated that landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which would put a stopto discrimination in employment because race, Congressmen added gender to thebill, thinking that the addition of women would stop the act. When this didn’t work,and the measure was signed into law, women groups such as NOW were dedicated toits enforcement.Women didnot always lobby for their issues from within well-known movement groups,instead they preferred to stage antiwar events.
Like the antiwar andcivil rights movements, feminism developed a radical faction by the end of thedecade. Women held “consciousness raising” sessions. Where many femalesshared common experiences that often led to their feelings of enduring a mutualplight. The rally of women to end the war in Vietnam weresubsumed into a paradigm that assumes that, sometime in the late 1960s, womenactivists left the antiwar fight for the new feminist cause, leaving behind themovement that had originally ignited their activist efforts. The counter cultural movement started on the background ofVietnam War.
It was a post-war generation because of baby boom. Peoplewere frustrated due to gender issues ,racism, consumerism, and over conservativenature of the society in general. They were looking for something different andthey found it in emerging counter cultural movements of 1960s. They began toquestion the traditional values and culture. They had questioned theconsumerist American and followed a life style opposite to the orthodoxAmerican society. They welcomed sex, drugs and rock music.
To form a betterworld, most of them sought after alternate life styles, music and politics, Theeffects of these ideas can be seen even today in America.The rise of feminism was an crucial part of the counterculture. It began with the publication of Betty Friedan’s “The FeminineMystique” in 1963.
It was a cry to women to come out of their traditionalrole as mother and wife. Women began to attend colleges in huge numbers and start many jobs. There were feminine writerssuch as Gloria Steinem and Slyvia Plath who fought for the equality of women.In the long run, it led to the rise up of activism on the part of women.
Onesuch example was the formation of National organization for Women (NOW). The new feminism did a lot, from campaigns for theEqual Rights Amendment (ERA) to clinics, battered women’s shelters. Itsconstituencies ranged from informal groups of lesbian collectives and suburbanmarried women. Many of its most relevant victories took place their employmentsand families where women spoke up to change the sexual division of labor. Theyspoke up for changes in personal struggles to enter traditional male domains,from coal mines to law and engineering schools and construction sites.Ultimately, this new or “second wave” feminism became the longest-lasting andbiggest of all the movements of the New Left, with an unharmed trajectory that goesinto the twenty-first century. Perhaps, it has aroused the deepest opposition,even among women themselves.
Liberal Feminists denounce against the fact that society tendsto have the untrue belief that women, naturally are, less smart and less physicallycapable than men. Radical Feminism believes that society is rule by patriarchy,that grows by oppressing women. The core belief of feminism is that men andwomen should equal. No matter what one thinks, they cannot deny women tend tohave less power and rights than men. In many countries, women still don’t havethe right to vote.
Whereas in others, even developed countries, women do nothave equal pay or representation in government. Hence, the feminist movement isstill around.