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Nixon Vetoes Comprehensive Child Development Bill, which would have provided $2 billion for child care.

Erin Pizzey starts the first battered women's shelter in England. It was the beginning of a movement that spread throughout Europe and the United States.

Jill Johnston breaks up symposium on women at New York's Theater for Ideas by embracing a woman on stage. Other panelists are Norman Mailer (who was offended), Germaine Greer, Diana Trilling and Jackie Ceballos.

Patricia Buckley Bozell takes a swing at Ti-Grace Atkinson at Catholic University in Washington, C.C., after Atkinson announces that the Virgin Mary has been "used." 

The "Fourth World Manifesto," by Detroit feminists, challenges politics of New Left women and men after feminists call for a boycott of a meeting with a delegation of Vietnamese women in Canada because those organizing the meeting are too revisionary. The meeting, the Indo-Chinese Women's Conference, took place with American feminists and women from North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

First feminist fund is formed, Sisterhood Is Powerful, Inc., with royalties from the bestselling anthology. 

FBI reports that the increase in women's crime rate is up sharply over men's.

Three hundred forty Frenchwomen sign a petition, the "Manifesto of 340 Bitches," declaring they have had abortions. In the U.S., Ms. Magazine publishes a similar petition in 1972, initially signed by 53 prominent women, and later by thousands of Ms. readers. 

The Women's Action Alliance, first national center on women's issues and programs, is founded in New York City by Gloria Steinem and Brenda Feigen Fasteau. 


Congress passes the ERA, first introduced in 1923; Hawaii is the first state to ratify.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 empowers the EEOC to go to court with discrimination cases.

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is passed, prohibiting sex discrimination in most federally assisted educational programs. Opens up a debate in the area of sports that remains unresolved throughout the decade.

The National Conference of Puerto Rican Women is organized in Washington, D.C., by Carmen Maymi, Paquita Vivo, and others.

Dr. Donna Allen's Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press begins publishing Media Report to Women.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is extended to cover administrative, professional, and executive employees.

The Feminist Press starts "Women's Studies Newsletter" (in 1977, the National Women's Studies' Association is formed; by 1978, the number of women's studies courses exceeds 15,000). 

Ms. Magazine publishes its Preview Issue. 

The University of Minnesota lets women into the marching band.

Women's Lobby, Inc., is formed by Carol Burris to lobby Congress on women's issues. 

was an experience I had probably shared with at least one out of four American women. 

And for the first time, I realized that our bodies, much less the rest of our lives, could never be entirely our own as long as we were viewed and controlled by society as the most basic means of production: the means of reproduction. Women were supposed to be a secondary caste, with authority taking the various forms of the church or family or patriarchal state--and if we rebelled, each of us was often made to feel falsely aberrant and alone.

In addition to taking on such visceral subjects as the politics of reproduction, sexuality, and housework, the feminist analysis of women as a subordinate caste uncovered the age-old parallels and interdependencies with caste systems based on race. Sometimes, this realization came from figuring out that the men of the racially powerful group had to restrict the freedom of "their" women in order to preserve racial purity, but could produce more workers by making sure that all men had easy access to the bodies of women in the powerless group. Often, the message came from black women who had lived through the parallel myths of "natural" inferiority based on race and sex, or from black men in particular and women in general who simply found themselves dealing with some common pattern of discrimination or common adversary. In our various ways, we were mutually uncovering the secret of this land of opportunity: If you aren't born white and male in America, you are statistically likely to end up as some sort of support system for those who are.

We shouldn't have had to learn this the hard way. Our 19th-century counterparts of the first wave of feminism in America and the abolitionist movement had shared much of their struggle to challenge a system that defined black men and all women as chattel: the legal possessions of masters, husbands, or fathers. In coalitions that were both consciously built on issues and unconsciously created around shared sympathies, the movements against the intertwined caste systems of race and sex worked together--until the patriarchy divided the movements by allowing only "Manhood Suffrage"; that is, a few black men were allowed to vote, but no women. Fifty years later when women of all races finally won the vote, the obvious differences in cruelty or intimacy of race/sex caste systems had been successfully used to divide the two and to forestall the danger of another 19th-century majority coalition. Black women and men--but especially white women--had been encouraged to believe that all progress was to be achieved by identifying upward, by attaching oneself to serving the most powerful men available, and not by banding together ourselves or with other less powerful groups to enforce political change. No wonder that I and many other women had been so educated to believe that salvation lay in either marrying into the right group or becoming an accepted "token" within it. And no wonder we were so surprised if we accidentally discovered that we had anything in common with or

66/Ms./December 1979
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