The Other Feminists

Activists in the Liberal Establishment
Author(s): 
Hartmann, Susan M.
ISBN: 
0300074646
Date published: 
November 1998
Paperback
Price: 
£20.00
Pages: 
224

This intriguing book enriches our understanding of the women's movement in the United States by showing how feminists captured a place for their goals on the agendas of four male-dominated liberal organisations in the 1960s and 1970s: the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Council of Churches, the Ford Foundation, and the International Union of Electrical Workers. Susan M. Hartmann examines the efforts of women and men who had few ties to the independent women's movement - and thus have been neglected in studies of second-wave feminism - but who nonetheless contributed substantially to the spread of feminist ideas and practices into the mainstream of American society. She identifies key resources that these establishment groups furnished the independent women's movement - money, legitimacy, and access to the critical arenas of public opinion and government. Revising the common view that the second wave of feminism was a white middle-class phenomenon, Hartmann discovers significant numbers of women of colour and working-class women who pushed feminist agendas. In demonstrating how feminist change took place within establishment organisations, the book highlights the processes and the benefits that attended the incorporation of feminism into the frames of economic and racial justice, individual rights, and Christian values. It thus illuminates both the reach and the staying power of second-wave feminism. Susan M. Hartmann is Professor of History and Women's Studies at Ohio State University.