Posted: August 3rd, 2022

Assignment 15


Women and Feminism in the 1970s and 80s

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Anti-Rape Activism, Marital Rape, Coercion :

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1. What are your views on the 1970s backlash against feminism?

2. What were issues regarding work and women’s treatment at this time?

3. What are views of people that oppose feminism at this time?

4. Why are feminists mocked?

5. According to the video, what is the marital rape exemption?

6. What is meant by social coercion and interpersonal coercion in relationships, according to the video?


Steinem, “Testimony…,” Speech Text

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1. What are some of the various myths that she speaks about?

2. What are some ideas she states about gender and equality?

Steinem on the ERA, 1982 (optional video)

Equal Rights for Women with Gloria Steinem – Historical Reference

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Phyllis Schlafly Reading (1972)

3. What are two or more reasons that she opposes the ERA, and feminism (women’s lib)?

Jerry Falwell on ERA, 1980

4. What are two ideas from this source?

1970s Reproductive and Health Rights

The following excerpt describes an important step for women in becoming more involved with their own health, as they faced a predominantly male medical authorities, which often treated them in condescending ways.

Preface to the 1973 Edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves”

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5. Why were women coming together to speak about their bodies and health?

6. This sources states that “this kind of body education has been liberating for us and may be a starting point for the liberation of many other women. ” Why?


“The Facts About Abortion” (1970) from a pamphlet by the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws. Found in Gerda Lerner

, The Female Experience, An American Documentary

, 1976)

7. What are two important ideas from this source? (p 432)

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8. What role did the clergy play in abortions before legalization? Why is it surprising?

Anti-Rape Activism

In the 1970s, feminists took on rape. They generally framed it as an issue of patriarchy and male entitlement, based in sexism. They began to define rape myths. In the 70s, states were also beginning to legislate against rape in marriage. Through the 1970s to 2000s, marital rape became a crime in the United States, and the idea “you can’t rape your wife” finally became null, (although societal expectations of consent in marriage are still somewhat controversial.) In the 1980s and 90s, acquaintance rape was defined, and written about, and feminists popularized that women were most often raped by men they knew rather than deviant criminals.

Rape myths tended to blame the victim. Feminists worked in the 1970s,-present to try to challenge these rape myths and change thinking regarding sexual assault.

I Never Called it Rape_excerpt

Download I Never Called it Rape_excerpt


9. What are rape myths that are listed in this excerpt?

10. What are two important points from this excerpt.?

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