Feminism civil rights movement

Feminism and the Civil Rights Movement (1965), Casey Hayden

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) attracted hundreds of idealistic young male and female activists, both black and white. Yet for all of the movement's commitment to racial equality, it failed to practice gender equality. The young men who led SNCC retained conventional notions of male superiority. They expected the women in the organization to cook meals, take notes, and defer to the men. Once, when asked about the role of women volunteers in SNCC, Stokely Carmichael replied that the "only position for women in SNCC is prone." Two white female activists, Casey Hayden and Mary King, wrote memos in 1964 and 1965 detailing their frustrations at the failure of the civil rights movement to recogniz issues related to women's concerns. They and others would eventually leave the civil rights crusade and helped organize the modern feminist movement.

The average white person finds it difficult to understand why the Negro resents being called "boy, " or being thought of as "musical" and athletic, " because the average white person doesn't realize that he assumes he is superior. And naturally he doesn't understand the problem of paternalism. So too the average SNCC worker finds it difficult to discuss the woman problem because of the assumption of male superiority. Assumptions of male superiority are as widespread and deep-rooted and every much as crippling to the woman as the assumptions of white supremacy are to the Negro. Consider why it is in SNCC that women who are competent, qualified, and experienced are automatically assigned to the "female" kinds of jobs such as: typing, desk work, telephone work, filing, library work, cooking, and the assistant kind of administrative work but rarely the "executive" kind.

The woman in SNCC is often in the same position as that token Negro hired in a corporation. The management thinks that it has done its bit. Yet, every day the Negro bears an atmosphere, attitudes, and actions which are tinged with condescension and paternalism, the most telling of which are seen when he is not promoted as the equally or less skilled whites are. . . .

It needs to be made known that many women in the movement are not "happy and contented" with their status. It needs to be made known that much talent and experience are being wasted by this movement, when women are not given jobs commensurate with their abilities. It needs to be known that just as Negroes were the crucial factor in the economy of the cotton South, so too in SNCC, women are the crucial factor that keeps the movement running on a day-to-day basis. Yet they are not given equal say-so when it comes to day-to-day decision making.

What can be done? Probably nothing right away. Most men in this movement are probably too threatened by the possibility of serious discussion on this subject. Perhaps this is because they have recently broken away from a matriarchal framework under which they may have grown up. Then, too, many women are as unaware and insensitive to this subject as men, as there are many Negroes who don't understand they are not free or who want to be part of white America. They don't understand that they have to give up their souls and stay in their place to be accepted. So, too, many women, in order to be accepted by men, on men's terms, give themselves up to that caricature of what...

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FAQ

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What was the civil rights movement?

The ultimate goals of the civil rights movement were to end racial
segregation and discrimination against African Americans.

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HOW is it NOT mysogynist to compare feminism to mad cow disease? Would you compare the civil rights movement? | Yahoo Answers

You are right to compare the women's movement to the civil rights movement. The idiot above who stated that the civil rights movement was about equality is very young and doesn't remember what an outrage it was to whites when affirmative action began. Lynches in the South reappeared. (If they ever really went away.) Think of all the murders that happened during the Civil Rights movement. A little name calling from these Internet weaklings is nothing.

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