Oystese_Pillow Feminism 1960’s

Feminism is defined as the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. The feminist movement during the 1960’s was known as the second wave, the first wave was inspired by the abolitionist movement, and the second wave was fueled from college educated mothers who were inspired by the civil rights movement. In 1961 JFK acknowledged this second wave and established the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. Eleanor Roosevelt was appointed chairwoman, and the Commission passed several laws such as the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prevented employers from discriminating based on gender.

Feminist movements happened all around the world, for example: in Ceylon, Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the world’s first female Prime Minister. Even in the US, Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman nominated for president. A popular group in the Feminist Movement was NOW (National Organization for Women). Colleges and Universities funded women’s studies departments, and as the decade progressed everyone recognized rapid change in the role of stereotypes. Women started to work as pilots, construction workers, soldiers, bankers, and bus drivers. Thanks to the “Second Wave”, women slowly started to get more and more rights and equal treatment as the decade progressed!

The Feminine Mystique and the Birth Control Pill were also factors of 1960’s feminism. The Feminine Mystique was a book written in 1963, by Betty Friedan. The book was started, because Friedan asked her college girl schoolmates questions about their living conditions, and many said they were unhappy being housewives. The book interviewed women, and also discussed how women didn’t need to be as dependent upon men. The Birth Control Pill was important when it was approved in 1960 by the U.S., because these pills gave women more control over pregnancies than they originally had. The topic of birth control has remained a highly debated and controversial subject for many years.


Use this link to watch our Video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/greater-freedom-for-women-in-the-1960s/3515.html