Talk:History of women in the United States

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Old talk[edit]

This page should be renamed "History of white women in the United States."

I'm joking, of course, but I write that as a challenge to future editors of this article. The current version of the article uses the term "women" when what is usually meant is "white women." --Kevin Myers 15:17, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)

This is accurate criticism. Black women in large part launched a large part of the feminist movement, and a lot of other points here are directed mainly at white women. I'll see what I can do when I get a chance. Sarge Baldy 17:34, Mar 30, 2005 (UTC)
A History of White, Middle Class, American-born women? The important gains being made by working class and immigrant women are also ignored. Child labor legislation, unionizing (especially in the garment industry), contraception and abortion rights, even the right to dance in public were all brought about by the labor of working class, immigrant, or poor women. Wikipedia's demographic shows. [anonymous outsider, September 25 2005]

Female superiority[edit]

As the movement broadened to include many women like Susan B. Anthony from the temperance movement, the slavery metaphor was joined by the image of the drunkard husband who batters his wife. Feminist prejudice that women were morally superior to men reflected the social attitudes of the day.

??

I don't know how I missed that earlier, but that's certainly a blatant falsehood, for one thing because feminism is a belief in gender equality, not female superiority, and for another because it was men in the period who decided women were morally superior (and hence pressured them away from "dirty" work and into "moral" churches). I'm not sure how best to rework that section yet though (in a "neutral" fashion). Sarge Baldy 19:36, Jun 12, 2005 (UTC)
That's really not true. Your definition of "feminism" is extrememly subjective and basically false. Thruout the history of feminism, many women in the cultural feminist and radical feminist movements have considered women to be superior to men, especially in morality. While this may have come from a condescending attitude of men, it was not confined to such. Check out such feminists as Mary Daly for the attitude that women are preferred to men.
That being said, while "prejudice" may be an accurate description of the feminist ideas of morality, it's a provocative word that brings to mind bigotry more than unsupported assumptions, so I changed it to say "certain feminist ideas," which also keeps from painting the feminist movement as more uniform than it is. NickelShoe 16:09, 10 October 2005 (UTC)


POV[edit]

I've listed this article as POV, not to suggest ill will on the part of anyone involved, but to draw attention to the fact this article is severely slanted toward white women. The white feminist movement grew almost entirely out of the black feminist movement and yet they are currently absent from any mention here. Sarge Baldy 09:38, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Cleanup[edit]

This article is confusing and unorganized. It is also lacking a lot of information on feminist history in the United States. For example, the article contains an image of Rosie the Riveter, but lacks any information on the substantial change to the role of women during WWII.

Rights[edit]

I just changed the article to say the the Declaration of Independence was androcentric in saying "all men are created equal," because this did not, as the article previously said, limit women's rights in any way. The D of I was not a set of laws, and all men are created equal is merely descriptive (wrong or not). I'm also unsure that we're being quite fair to the Founding Fathers, who likely considered "men" to be gender neutral. While there are plenty of problems with using "men" in a gender neutral fashion, if that was the intent, we should give them the benefit of the doubt, while explaining why this isn't good enough. Sound fair? NickelShoe 17:43, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, clearly it had no legal bearing. "Men" has never been gender neutral, and has always been androcentric. Although it's likely that the men who drafted this document did not see anything malicious in its being this way, just as people might most often not see heterosexism in modern advertising as malicious. However, I think women were probably conscious of this usage, as evidenced by the later drafting of the "Declaration of Sentiments". Sarge Baldy 18:01, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Academic peer-reviewed criticism of this article[edit]

From Rosenzweig's article: "The entry on women leaves out the Nineteenth Amendment but devotes a paragraph to splits in the National Organization for Women (now) over the defense of Valerie Solanas (who shot Andy Warhol)."--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:01, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

POV - Title[edit]

I have added the POV - Title box because I believe that this article should more rightly be called a History of Feminism in the United States, not a history of women. The pre-feminist sections contains feminist analyses of sex roles which gives "undue weight" (see Wikipedia:Neutral point of view) to a feminist reading of early US history and very little actual historical content which meets the standards of the [Historical method]. The remainder is solely about feminism. I have left the other POV box because I think that if this article is retitled to match its contents (imo), the earlier POV issue will still need to be addressed. Cheers. baby_ifritah 14:53, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

While I agree History of Feminism in the United States was a good title, it seems to have been changed to a history of women in the U.S., which actually is not accurate since most women are not feminists and this article mostly about feminism. When did it get changed and why wasn't that discussed here?? 18:47, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

What is relevant, what is not[edit]

I removed whole paragraphs about individual American women who, in the sources given, did not have much affect on the topic, on American women in general. I have also taken out paragraphs which have to do with all forms of contraception including condoms, as this subject is not specific to women alone (unlike The Pill.) I took out the fire at Triangle Shirtwaist as it was an industrial accident which affected industrial safety in general, not women specifically. Following is each issue brought up separately. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Note that 72.78.224.46 brought the article from 44kb to 140kb in the last two months. Some of that was done by adding tangential and peripheral material about gay rights and racism, and about subjects such as the Great Depression and industrial safety which were of concern to both men and women. The article must be trimmed back! It is too large, too floppy and unfocused. Deleting peripheral material is the right direction. Binksternet (talk) 06:01, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Triangle Shirtwaist fire[edit]

Fire resulted in industry safety laws applicable to men and women. Irrelevant. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Women-dominated segment of labor had highly dangerous working conditions. The factor as a whole should also be discussed as a key part of the story of unionization by women (a 1909 strike there, for instance was heavily supported by the Women's Trade Union League. Widely discussed in histories and encyclopedia's of women's history.--Carwil (talk) 13:57, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely yes, it should be noted that women were lower rung workers, given less safe conditions at work. This was not the case in the deleted section. Binksternet (talk) 23:01, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Zelda Fitzgerald[edit]

A "noted flapper", inspiration for book characters. Irrelevant. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Flappers in general worthy of consideration vis à vis changing mores of women's sexuality etc. I know nothing of this individual who may lack historical significance.--Carwil (talk) 13:57, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Great Depression[edit]

Affected both men and women. Irrelevant. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Specific effect on women should be considered.--Carwil (talk) 13:57, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. In the part I removed, it was not. Binksternet (talk) 22:59, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Ida May Fuller[edit]

First recipient of Social Security, could have been a man or a woman. Random. Irrelevant. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Social security provided guaranteed retirement assistance to both spouses for the first time, regardless of who worked. Dramatic change in the economic life of women, although I'm not sure if the delete text said so.--Carwil (talk) 13:59, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
It did not. Fuller was not a key figure; she was random. The women's history bit about gaining equality in retirement would be a fine addition, but Fuller is not. Binksternet (talk) 22:58, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Spies in WWII[edit]

Mildred Elizabeth Sisk and Iva Toguri d’Aquino: two women who were famous spies in WWII. Does not set or describe general trends for women. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Rosa Parks[edit]

Rosa Parks's iron determination was for her race, not her sex. Irrelevant. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Woman of high historical significance deserves a mention here. More generally, role of women in the African-American Civil Rights Movement (e.g., Fannie Lou Hamer, Montgomery Bus Boycott committees, etc.), a key feature of American history should be covered here. Improvement that generalizes the section would be useful. --Carwil (talk) 13:57, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely a different topic, no matter that a woman was the catalyst. If race rights are the issue, this article is not the place. If minority women's rights are involved, it's okay. The Rosa Parks achievement did not affect women differently than men. Binksternet (talk) 22:57, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Little Rock Nine[edit]

The "Little Rock Nine" were nine girls in the fight for race rights. Irrelevant. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Griswold v Connecticut[edit]

Griswold v Connecticut was about privacy in marriage, not about women alone. It was about contraceptives that both men and women might choose to use. Irrelevant. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Per male contraceptive, you're factually wrong. And the subject of the case was contraceptives, not privacy in marriage, which was the legal justification. Also, a history of marriage rights would be appropriate for this article, discussing the move from marriage stripping women of legal personhood/property rights/etc. to full marital equality.--Carwil (talk) 13:57, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Stonewall[edit]

Stonewall Inn lesbian Stormé DeLarverie did not do something for her sex; the result of the action was beneficial to gays of any sex. Irrelevant. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

NARAL[edit]

The sentence about the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws was not shown to have any relevance to the topic. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

As with contraception, concerns a practice exclusively engaged in by women.--Carwil (talk) 13:57, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Jane Fonda[edit]

In Vietnam, Jane Fonda was a war protester, not an activist for women. Irrelevant. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Eisenstadt v Baird[edit]

Eisenstadt v Baird, about contraceptive use, was applicable to men and women. Irrelevant. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

See above. You sure are persistent about men and women using contraceptives together (condoms and withdrawal are arguably used together, but they weren't banned by law). Perhaps they get pregnant together too? In a spiritual or emotional sense, perhaps, but that wouldn't exclude pregnancy for articles about women.--Carwil (talk) 13:57, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Patty Hearst[edit]

Confused heiress goes bad. Irrelevant to women's issues. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Presidential attacks[edit]

Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme tried to kill President Ford, as did Sara Jane Moore. Irrelevant to women's issues. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Anita Hill[edit]

The paragraph about Anita Hill did not relate the story to women's issues in general; rather, it made the point that this was about harassment in the workplace, and strangely, about race. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Sexual harrassment deserves its own paragraph here, which will probably see this prominent controversy mentioned.--Carwil (talk) 13:57, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

FFL[edit]

I shortened the paragraph about Feminists for Life. The organization does not work for women's rights; it works against access to abortion. The bit about early feminists was inaccurate and far too brief, so I removed it, because it is not the main point of the organization. Their goal: making abortion illegal. Binksternet (talk) 23:37, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Women's history[edit]

Thanks to Binksternet for facilitating discussion on her/his recent removals. I will be a part of that discussion on some issues. For now, I want to note that Women's history is a subfield of history which has got some serious conceptual attention by historians. And that subfield (as described by its Wikipedia article, but confirmed elsewhere) is not just a history of the status of women, but also of the role women have played in potentially gender neutral aspects of history. To quote:

Women's history is the study of the role that women have played in history, together with the methods needed to study women. It includes the study of the history of the growth (and decline) of woman's rights throughout recorded history, the examination of individual women of historical significance, and the effect that historical events have had on women. Inherent in the study of women's history is the belief that more traditional recordings of history have minimized or ignored the contributions of women and the effect that historical events had on women as a whole; in this respect, woman's history is often a form of historical revisionism, seeking to challenge or expand the traditional historical consensus.

I think this may provide us with the best (or at least one relatively noncontroversial) guide to what the bounds of this article ought to be. Admittedly, there are sections of this article that seem to fail on these grounds (individual women not of historical significance for example), and many clear segments of the history of gender in the US are not yet included. However, as I will discuss soon, some of the recent deletions definitely fall within these bounds. By the way, Binksternet or others, if you have some principled objection to using this definition as guidance, please discuss it here.--Carwil (talk) 13:35, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

A major problem with the article now that it has been expanded by some 80kb in the past two months, is that it is a patchwork quilt. The staccato appearance of events is not explained for the reader; not given context. History includes the word story, and there is too little story in this article. Readers new to the subject will not be able to put the individuals and separate events into their place in history. Sure Sandra Day O'Connor was the first federal Supreme Court Justice, but there was an arc of history that brought that condition into being, and there has been a further arc since then. That's just one of many examples. The article has been used as a secretary desk, to pigeonhole separate events and list them in time. We need a flowing story instead. Binksternet (talk) 23:08, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree strongly with this point. I think that the really fabulous work that has gone into this page might end up as Chronology (or Timeline) of the history of women in the United States if there was a coherent article to replace it. For now, it seems like a hybrid solution might be best: breaking the article into coherent bits, putting strong summarizing paragraphs in sections that are smaller than the century-long blocks we have now. In the end, such narratives sections will grow and the staccato bits can be exported to a separate article.--Carwil (talk) 23:46, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps an answer can be found in your saying that the timeline approach is the problem. If this article were remade into thematic sections which discussed various topics relevant to women's history, each section covering as many years as necessary, it would be much easier to flow it. Binksternet (talk) 00:52, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
The article is History of Women, not Women's History or the History of Feminism. Any area where women, preferably by name, played a documented role should be considered for inclusion; there will undoubtedly be areas where women impacted society as a whole, and none of those are "irrelevant" to this topic. The swearing in of Johnson in 1963 by a female justice, for example, because she was the first justice available. The topic lends itself to expansion and sub-division no matter how large it gets. 75.203.191.224 (talk) 08:38, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Bare links of references[edit]

Can someone's bot kindly cover all the bare links in this article. Thanks. - AnakngAraw (talk) 04:07, 29 June 2011 (UTC) {{Help|A lot of barelinks. Anybody who has a bot to tidy this article's refs section. Thanks}} - AnakngAraw (talk) 04:07, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Working on it. The tool does about 20 links at a time. I was sitting there grumbling to myself about how slow it was and "why was it limited to 20; why can't it just fix them all in one pass" and then realized I was complaining to myself about an incredible piece of recent technology that is doing something very laborious it would take about 50 or so hours to do by hand.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 05:23, 29 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. - AnakngAraw (talk) 22:35, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Zelda Kingoff Nordlinger[edit]

Hello! Please consider adding Zelda Kingoff Nordlinger to your page. According to her Wiki article, she founded the Richmond, VA chapter of NOW and also contributed to local Women's movements. Thank you. Kobuu (talk) 20:22, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

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Black and White[edit]

What I find interesting is that any subject that focuses on the history of the United States mostly deals with the contributions made by those who are Anglo-Americans and Afro-Americans, while the contributions, in this case, made by the Hispanic, Asian and Native-American women are practically omitted. Tony the Marine (talk) 00:55, 16 September 2017 (UTC)

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Birth control (under Health issues (under Progressive era 1900-1930))[edit]

Marked statements as wrong (dubious). The forbidden items were not prohibited or banned under federal law. The Comstock law only prohibited shipment by US mail (Post Office). But there were a lot of other Comstock laws including a hodge-podge of state laws which a Judge called "haphazard and capricious", in a law review. Contraception per-SE was only banned in Connecticut. These laws were often not enforced. The situation was so confusing and complicated that I hesitate to try to explain it and nowhere can I find a good succinct explanation of it. David S. Lawyer 00:01, 2 January 2018 (UTC)