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The Civil Rights Commission is given jurisdiction over sex discrimination. Loses jurisdiction over abortion in 1978.

Women's issues including the right to abortion, are included in the platform of La Raza Unida, a Mexican-American political movement, as the result of pressure from its Chicana caucus.

Sally Priesand is first woman ordained a rabbi.

Marlo Thomas and friends produce the record "Free To Be...You and Me," the first record of nonsexist, multiracial songs, poems, and stories for children.

New York City is the scene of the First International Festival of Women's Films. 

Shirley Chisholm runs for President.

Women are 40 percent of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention; 35 percent of the Republican.

Frances ("Sissy") Farenthold comes in second in Democratic Convention Vice-Presidential nomination.

Jean Westwood is unanimously selected chair of Democratic National Committee (first woman in either party).

Margo St. James and other prostitutes start COYOTE (Cut Out Your Old Tired Ethics).

Judy Chicago, Miriam Shapiro, and members of the Feminist Art Program at the California Institute of the Arts open 17-room Womanhouse exhibit.

New Ways to Work (California) initiates part-time and job-sharing model programs.

American Heritage publishes first dictionary (a wordbook for children) to define "sexism," include the phrase "liberated women," and recognize "Ms."

Ms. Foundation is formed, only nationwide funding source specifically for women. 

League of Women Voters endorses the ERA.

Gail and Thomas Parker are appointed president and vice-president respectively of Bennington College (Vermont)-first wife-husband team. 

Revised Order 4 requires companies doing business with the federal government to form written affirmative action programs for hiring and promoting minorities and women. 

First conference of Older Women's Liberation held in New York City. 

Poet Marianne Moore, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, dies.


Supreme Court legalizes abortion following successful arguments by lawyers Sarah Weddington and Marjorie Pitts Hames.

National Black Feminist Organization is formed to deal with dual problems of racism and sexism.

Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match in Houston's Astrodome.

Supreme Court outlaws sex-segregated classified ads.

Kalamazoo, Michigan, group files first Title IX textbook complaint with Health, Education, and Welfare Department.

AFL-CIO National Convention endorses the ERA.

Women admitted to U.S. Coast Guard officer-candidate  program.

American Stock Exchange adopts affirmative action hiring plan.

Los Angeles Woman's Building opens--housing art galleries, studios, workshops and stores.

University of Chicago establishes athletic scholarships for women.

Government Printing Office stylebook accepts "Ms." as a prefix.

were at ease in all the wrong groups. It took feminism, and not the earlier upwardly mobile reformism, to reveal the politics of everyday life and the shared interests of women as a caste; to make sense of emotions and political sympathies by explaining that women were some degree of "out" group, too.

On the other hand, thousands of women had been strengthened and started on paths of lifelong change by hearing their experiences as wives, mothers, and frustrated professionals accurately described by those reformers of the '60s. They then went on to discover that success in the mainstream simply wasn't possible through the efforts of one group of women alone, or through changing only our work lives. By the '70s, almost all the early reformers had become feminists through realizing that they were strengthened by alliances with women of different races and classes, women who were welfare mothers or employed in traditional "women's work," women who were lesbians or who had chosen unconventional lifestyles. After all, a woman might start out identifying "upward" with her male boss and not "downward" with another secretary, but both often realized that they shared problems as women, and they needed to support each other to have any power at all. As for rights of sexual expression and reproductive freedom, women finally discovered that all of us were endangered when one group was denied.

At the same time, most of the early feminists were learning the importance of being inside as well as outside those structures that need change; of legislative lobbying and electoral politics; in short, of the skills that their reformist sisters often possessed. We have even admitted the degree to which stylistic differences kept us from seeing that shared issues had been there all along. In retrospect, for instance, I realize that NOW had made a dignified and courageous demand for "repealing penal laws governing abortion" in 1967, almost two years before so many of us experienced the more dramatic revelation of hearing women demand the same repeal by speaking out publicly about their experiences of illegal abortions. If I had been willing to look beyond the superficial style differences of women who picketed against employers in their mink coats (in order to prove, as one of them now ruefully recalls, "that we were demonstrating out of principle, not need"), I might have started to work on the vital issue of abortion two years earlier. And if more of the early reformers had been willing to look beyond the boots-and-jeans uniform and impersonal rhetoric with which some of us emerged from the male-dominated Left, they might have realized that we were neither so far from them on issues nor such a political liability as we seemed. 

This personal note on two different paths to feminism is only a hint at the diversity of experience that each of us would count as vital in summing up the '70s: the first full decade of the second wave of feminism in America. Each of us would probably choose a different way of measuring how far the revolution has come. 

68/Ms./December 1979
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