Inviting Women's Rebellion: A Political Process Interpretation of the Women's Movement / Edition 1

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Overview

Which is the real women's movement? The 1960s guerilla theater with feminists chanting "No more male legislators"? Or the political action committees of the 1970s distributing money to progressive candidates? Geraldine Ferraro and Diane Feinstein winning nomination to important political office in the 1980s? Or the crying, shouting, angry women of Mills College in 1990, protesting their school's decision to admit male undergraduates? According to Anne N. Costain, the movement's diversity and longevity have given it political strength--and have made it very difficult to define. In Inviting Women's Rebellion Costain examines the development of the women's movement from its appearance in the 1960s, through its formative years to its peak in the 1970s, and into its current decline. Political scientists have generally understood it as a traditional social movement one that gathered its constituents and mobilized its resources to fight for change--in part, against a government that was hostile or indifferent to women's rights. Costain argues instead for a "political process" interpretation that includes the federal government's role in facilitating the movement's success. In Costain's analysis, the crumbling of the New Deal coalition in the late sixties created a period of political uncertainty. Realizing the potential electoral impact of a bloc of women voters, politicians saw the value of making serious efforts to attract women's support. In this sympathetic political climate, the women's movement won early legislative stories without needing to develop significant resources or tactical skills. It also encouraged the movement's emphasis on legislation, particularly the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. From its inception, the women's movement focused on changing the laws that perpetuate gender difference--seeking to free both sexes from rigid regulations which assumed, for example, that women were not qualified to sit on juries or that men should have the sole
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Costain (political science, U. of Colorado) argues that the women's movement was co-opted early in its history, and channeled into fighting for legislative change, where their large voting bloc could be exploited by established political interests, and their organizational development could be stunted. A warning to the next generation of feminists. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801848742
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 8.91 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Interpreting the Contemporary Women's Movement 1
2 The Opening of Political Opportunity for Women 26
3 A New Women's Movement Emerges 44
4 The High Point of the Women's Movement 79
5 Fighting Decline 100
6 If Government Gives, Can It Also Take Away? 122
7 For a Continuing Movement 136
Appendix A: Coding Women's Events Data 143
Appendix B: Assessing the Relative Influence of Government, Public Opinion, and the Women's Movement 150
Notes 157
Index 181
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