She begins the article by writing: “The pioneering sex-discrimination law casebook that Ruth Bader Ginsburg published with two of her colleagues in 1974 closes, after nine-hundred and twenty-seven pages, with a brief chapter of “Comparative Side-Glances.” Ginsburg and her colleagues avowed a “modest purpose” for the pages that followed. They sought merely “to suggest the breadth of the movement toward equal rights for men and women” that went well beyond the borders of the United States. The side-glances, however, had a rather surprising focus: Sweden.”
New York Times writer Claire Cain Miller published an article, “Why Mothers’ Choices About Work and Family Often Feel Like No Choice at All,” that features our own Dr. Kirsten Swinth. Here is a snippet of what Dr. Swinth stated: “What’s implicit in the conservative logic is that good mothers make the right choice, and the right choice is to prioritize your family.”
Fordham Historian Prof. Kirsten Swinth is quoted in a The Washington Post article entitled, “Jane Fonda spent a night in jail in 1970. Her mug shot defined feminist rebellion.” Swinth states: “At the time, there was this expectation that the only way a woman could be in public was to present herself in full makeup, respectably dressed, a skirt, a well-controlled girdle,” said Kirsten Swinth, a Fordham University professor who studies U.S. women’s history. The mug shot “says you can be something different than what society has told you you can be.”
You can follow Prof. Kirsten Swinth on Twitter at @kswinth.
You can also read the full article below:
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In her new book, Kirsten Swinth, Ph.D., associate professor of history, examines misperceptions of American feminism’s past. From failed promises of women “having it all” to the contemporary struggle for equal wages for equal work, Swinth’s book exposes how government policies often undermined tenets of the movement known as “second-wave feminism,” which took place from 1960s through the 1970s.
The book, Feminism’s Forgotten Fight: The Unfinished Struggle for Work and Family (Harvard University Press, 2018), argues that second-wave feminists did not fail to deliver on their promises; rather, a conformist society pushed back against far-reaching changes sought by these activists. The book’s arc begins with the intimate sphere of the family in the 1950s and then moves on to larger societal changes where two-income families became the unavoidable economic norm.
“My focus is on the story of a broad feminist vision that wasn’t fully realized,” said Swinth. “There were a lot of gains generally, but the movement also generated an antifeminist backlash so that most of the aspirations, like a sane and sustainable balance for work and family, were defeated.” (Full article available at link below)
Dr. Kirsten Swinth enjoyed a packed crowd earlier this month as she spoke about her upcoming book, “Having it All:” Feminist Struggles over Work and Family, 1963 – 1978 (Harvard University Press, 2018). The book comments on the challenges that working professionals have faced as they have sought to build a career while raising a family from the 1970s through the present. She also discussed Continue reading →
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Professor Kirsten Swinth was recently interviewed by Fordham News to talk about her work on American feminism of the 1960s and 1970s. She told them the story of how mothers finally achieved the legal right to have a job in 1971.
This story is part of her forthcoming book from Harvard University Press, For Work and Family: A Real Feminist History of “Having it All”
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