Wednesday, October 25, 2023 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT
As America’s own internal “other,” the South has long served as the nation’s ideological garbage dump and is the last place most people would look to find feminist activism. Yet the Southern Women’s Rights Project conducted in the region from 1977-1981 provides a compelling case study of southern feminism that was racially inclusive and dedicated to the needs of poor and working-class women. An outgrowth of the Women’s Rights Project founded for the American Civil Liberties Union by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the southern project reveals ACLU feminists’ interest in organizing and educational work, on top of their precedent-setting litigation. Southern project director Betsy Brinson’s organizing strategies also provide an especially relevant model for doing feminism in hard times and places—times of backlash (like our own) and places where feminist gains were always hard-won, if they were won at all.
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