Abstract

Women's politics in the 1970s reached beyond self-defined feminists, as "traditional" women's organizations tackled problems of import to women's everyday lives. A comparison of the positions and actions on welfare reform taken by the League of Women Voters and the National Organization for Women in the early 1970s challenges the assumption that all middle-class white women ignored the problems of poor women and highlights a critical turning point in American liberalism. The League's activism reveals the depth and breadth of liberal commitment to eradicating poverty in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but economic changes and feminist challenges undermined the family wage assumptions upon which that commitment was built. NOW's poverty activism increased during the decade, and the League eventually joined the feminist call for a welfare state geared toward overcoming women's economic disadvantage through employment.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2036
Print ISSN
1042-7961
Pages
pp. 155-179
Launched on MUSE
2002-01-01
Open Access
No
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