In the 1960s, how did women use peaceful acts of protest in striving for equality?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the most profound manners in which the women's movement in America of the 1960s made significant strides was to focus its energies in different realms of American life in order to achieve equality.  The women's rights movements of the time period all understood that the goal of equality and liberation were elements that could only be fully grasped over a period of time.  The 1960s focused on a social form of transformation, a movement whose primary emphasis was to change the language and pattern of recognition in which men and women interact with one another.  Feminist thinkers like Carol Hanisch understood that deconstructing this social element of discrimination is the only way through which political and economic forms of equality could be possible.  When Hanisch's rallying call becomes "The Personal is the Political," it is one way in which social protest was both defiant and peaceful, seeking to demand change in a way that would transform people's minds.  Her protest of the Miss America Pageant in 1968 is another way in which protest for women's rights occupied the peaceful domain, but was ripe with dissent and demanding for change in the immediate ways in which men and women view one another and themselves.


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