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1970s Feminist Activities

What Did Feminists Do During the 1970s?

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By 1970, second-wave feminists had inspired women and men across the United States. Whether in politics, in the media, in academia or in private households, women’s liberation was a hot topic of the day. But what actually happened during the era of 1970s feminism? What did 1970s feminists do? Here are some feminist activities of the 1970s.

1. Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)

The most intense struggle for many feminists during the 1970s was the fight for the passage and ratification of the ERA.

2. Protests

Feminists marched, lobbied and protested throughout the 1970s, often in clever and creative ways.

3. Women’s Strike for Equality

On August 26, 1970, the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, women went on “strike” in cities across the United States.

4. Ms. Magazine

Launched in 1972, Ms. bacome a famous part of the feminist movement. It was a publication edited by women that spoke to women’s issues, a voice of the revolution that had wit and spirit, a women’s magazine that eschewed articles about beauty products and exposed the control that many advertisers assert over content in women's magazines.

5. Roe v. Wade

This is one of the most famous – if not the most well understood - Supreme Court cases in the United States. Roe v. Wade struck down many state restrictions on abortion.

6. Combahee River Collective

A group of black feminists called attention to the need for all women’s voices to be heard, not just the white middle class women who received most of the media’s coverage of feminism.

7. Feminist Art Movement

Feminist art had quite an impact during the 1970s, and several feminist art journals were started during that time.

8. Feminist Poetry

Feminists wrote poetry long before the 1970s, but during that decade many feminist poets had unprecedented success and acclaim.

9. Feminist Literary Criticism

The literary canon had long been filled with white male authors, and feminists argued that literary criticism had been filled with white male assumptions. Feminist literary criticism presents new interpretations and tries to unearth what has been marginalized or suppressed.

10. The First Women’s Studies Department

The groundwork and the first women’s studies courses took place during the 1960s; in the 1970s, the new academic discipline grew quickly and was soon found at hundreds of universities.

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