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View Diary: Books That Changed My Life--Which Book Introduced You to Feminism? (69 comments)

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  •  The Feminine Mystique - Betty Friedan (14+ / 0-)

    It hit the best seller list when it came out in the early '60s.  Later I read a bunch in quick succession.  They were all in the 312. section of the library.  They were Sexual Politics by Kate Millett, The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer, the Second Sex by Anais Nin and others.  I read A Bunny's Tale by Gloria Steinem that had appeared in the Chicago Tribune years before.  Playboy began in Chicago and its home office was there.

    I was at the National demonstration in the Daley Center in 1970 with my 3 little kids.  After an hour one of the mayor's henchmen came and unplugged the sound system.  I guess they thought the ladies had talked enough.  We marched on City Hall and had a sit-in.  My daughter asked me, "What if we have to go to jail?"  I said, "Don't worry, dad will come and bail us out."  I had bailed dad out several time previous so I spoke from experience.

    I became an activist with the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women and worked on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.  Illinois was one of the few states that didn't ratify.  The media always gave credit to Phyllis Schlafley and her little front group.  We were there when they weren't and when they were there, we always outnumbered them.  The main player behind the effort to block ratification was the insurance industry.

    Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

    by arlene on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 05:36:19 AM PST

    •  What an interesting comment, arlene! (8+ / 0-)

      Wow, you could do a diary just on that demonstration at the Daley Center. The books by Millet, Greer, Nin, and others would make another wonderful diary.

      Good for you, being an activist and taking your children with you.  They learned an important lesson in civics from you. You commented:

      The main player behind the effort to block ratification was the insurance industry.
      This is something I hadn't known before. Why did the insurance industry fear the E.R.A.?

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 06:42:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you ever look at actuarial tables? (7+ / 0-)

        Separate rates for males and females.  Current Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was the lead counsel in several suits regarding company pensions and equal pay cases.  Until the Civil Rights movement, insurance companies had separate table for Caucasians and Afro-Americans.  When the Court decided to subject race to heightened scrutiny, the insurance business eliminated race-based tables but found subtler ways to discriminate.

        The elimination of separate rates for men and women in the ACA will turn out to have a huge impact.

        Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

        by arlene on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 08:01:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  My recollection was that they feared (3+ / 0-)

        women's longevity RE: life insurance.  They were afraid they'd be prevented from charging higher premiums for women's life insurance because they lived longer.  Perhaps secondarily (and more to my experience as a then-young man), they feared being unable to charge young men higher premiums for car insurance (young men being more accident-prone).  

        I remember hearing that these arguments were mainly being made in Florida, another unratified state.  IIRC, the anti-ERA then-Speaker of the House had strong insurance industry connections.  

        "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

        by bartcopfan on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 09:54:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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