How do I get people involved in my movement?
Luker, Kristin. 1984. Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Vol. 3. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Joffe, Carole E., Tracy A. Weitz, and Chris L. Stacey. 2004. “Uneasy allies: pro‐choice physicians, feminist health activists and the struggle for abortion rights.” Sociology of health & illness 26.6: 775-796.
Luna, Zakiya, and Kristin Luker. 2013. “Reproductive Justice” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 9:1:327-352
Kimport, Katrina. 2016. “Divergent Successes: What the Abortion Rights Movement Can Learn from Marriage Equality’s Success.” Perspectives on sexual and reproductive health 48.4: 221-227.
Youth Participatory Politics Network- How can we make [political participation] easy and engaging?
The day following the Inauguration of Donald Trump, an estimated 500,000 activists descended upon Washington D.C. to protest in opposition to the values of his administration. Similar marches were held in cities worldwide. There was controversy leading up to the event. Women of color challenged the organization committee for lacking diversity and called for more intersectionality. Some white women resented the challenge and chose to stay home or threatened to do so. The Women’s March was fraught with a long-standing issue within American feminist movement, how to unify across differences. The concerns of the activists were broad including: immigration reform, Black Lives Matter, anti-Muslim discrimination, reproductive rights, and climate change. What do we make of this historic event? Does this moment mark the beginning of a new women’s movement? If so, what are the issues of the new movement? Who is included? Excluded? What do we make of all those who participated? Is this movement intersectional? If so, how are the activists putting an intersectional women’s agenda into practice?
Special thanks to Guest Editor Daisy Reyes, who curated this exciting dialogue.
Thanks also to our wonderful group of contributors.
Michael T. Heaney, University of Michigan (essay)
Nancy Whittier, Smith College (essay)
Jo Reger, Oakland University (essay)
Editors in Chief,
Grace Yukich, David Ortiz, Rory McVeigh, Guillermo Trejo
The Women’s Marches of 2017 and the anniversary marches of 2018 once again bring us to the question: Is the U.S. women’s movement new again, having gone through a decline, death and finally rebirth? Does this new mobilization mean the movement is new? This is not a new question. Throughout the history of the movement, pundits have continually recast feminism as “new,” as in another wave of activism (this time maybe the fourth or fifth wave but who is counting?) or as a movement born fresh and new, independent of its former self. Media observer Jennifer Pozner coined the term “False Feminist Death Syndrome,” in response to the constant reports of feminism’s death. In the same vein, feminist scholar Mary Hawkesworth noted feminism’s reoccurring obituary, observing it was meant to annihilate feminism’s challenge to the status quo. Hawkesworth and Pozner encourage us to question the question – in other words, under what circumstances is a long-lived movement seen as new? Continue reading
By Nancy Whittier
Sexual violence and harassment have been central issues in almost every era of women’s organizing and they are central to a contemporary women’s movement that both builds on and differs from earlier activism. Since 2010, a new generation of activists has targeted sexual violence in new ways. Slutwalks, a theatrical form of protest against the idea that women provoke rape by their dress, brought a new spin to long-standing “Take Back the Night” marches against violence against women. The wave of activism grew as college students began speaking out about assault on campus and gained a broad platform through social media. Students protested institutional failures to follow procedures for addressing sexual assault and used symbolic tactics to highlight the issue. For example, in 2014/15, Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz carried her dorm room mattress everywhere as a protest against Columbia’s inaction after she reported sexual assault. “Carry That Weight,” her project title, became the name for an emerging activist group. Another, “No Red Tape,” led to a cross-campus day of action in which activists attached pieces of red tape to clothes or campus statues. Continue reading
By Michael T. Heaney
The facts about the mobilization of women’s movement in the United States over the past 14 months are fairly well established. A new organization calling itself the “Women’s March” formed shortly after the 2016 presidential election. It coordinated massive rallies, consisting mostly of liberal women and their allies, in Washington, DC and around the world. These rallies reached across diverse interests and were among the largest internationally coordinated demonstrations in history. The Women’s March has retained its momentum over the past year, staging a national convention in Detroit in October 2017, and then reprising its post-inauguration performance this past weekend with rallies in hundreds of cities under the slogan “power to the polls”. On the heels of the Women’s March, the #MeToo movement and the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund arose to address widespread sexual harassment and assault. These efforts have spurred the national conversation on the inappropriate treatment of women in the workplace. Millions of people have joined Pantsuit Nation and other internet discussion forums that discuss gender and politics. Indeed, the women’s movement has been a palpable force in American politics and society since the 2016 election. Continue reading