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Sisterhood is

Powerful by
Robin Morgan
Kidest Gebre, Reid Dickie, Laura
Delhierro
Second Wave feminism
- Started in the 1960s and continued in the 90s

- Unfolded during the Civil rights movement and anti-war Movement

- First Wave feminism focused on voting rights and property rights

- Second wave had more to do with challenging the social and power
structures

- Women met to speak about their everyday experiences

- Theory was applied to critique the patriarchy (leftist organization tactics)

- Collective organization, personal is political, femininity vs masculinity

- Sexuality,inequality of women in marriages and relationships


Robin Morgan
- Columbia University

- Child actor/ radio show

- Active member in the Civil Rights Movement

- Late 60s founding member of the New York Radical women and
W.I.T.C.H

- She organized the Miss America pageant protest

- Founded the first feminist foundation in the US Sister is powerful


Foundation

- Designed the Universal Logo/ herstory


Sisterhood is Powerful
- 1970s Morgan edited, compiled and published the first anthology of
radical feminist writings

- Many of the writings bring light to the social and political structures
that are made by men to oppress women both in politics and within
their household

- Work discrimination, sexism in the household

- Women demanding their rights now that they have gained them
during First Wave
Sisterhood is Powerful
Introduction: The Womens Revolution
Chapter 1: The Oppressed Majority: The Way It Is
Chapter 2: The Invisible Woman: Psychological and Sexual Repression
Chapter 3: Go Tell It In The Valley: Changing Consciousness
Chapter 4: Up From Sexism: Emerging Ideologies
Chapter 5: The Hand That Cradles The Rock: Protest And Revolt
Feminist Goals
I fear for the womens movements falling into precisely the same
trap as did our foremothers, the suffragists: creating a bourgeois
feminist movement that never quite dared enough, never questioned
enough, never really reached out beyond its own class and race. The
only hope of a new feminist movement is some kind of only now barely
emerging politics of revolutionary feminism, which some people are
trying to explore in this anthology. (Brown, Intro.)
Psychological and Sexual
Repression
The Politics of Orgasm - Susan Lydon

Penis Envy

...that they [women] are not whole human beings but mutilated
males who long all their lives for a penis and must struggle to
reconcile themselves to its lack (198)

In Freuds theory of penis envy, the penis functioned as the


unalterable determinant of maleness which women could
symbolically envy instead of the power and prestige given
men by the society. (201)

Hope for further equality

...women at long last will be allowed to take the first step toward
her emancipation, to define and enjoy the forms of her own
sexuallity. (205)
Psychological and Sexual
Repression
A Psychiatrists View: Images of Women - Past, Present, Overt and
Obscured - Natalie Shainess, M. D.
Masculine Attitudes Toward Women

Perspective

Women: A Subgroup

A Sexual Trauma Redefined

Self-Realization or Neuroticism?

Misinterpreted Myths

Implications for Treatment


Psychological and Sexual
Repression
Notes of A Radical Lesbian - Martha Shelly
...one must abandon the notion that deviance from the norm arises from personal
illnesses. (306)

The Lesbian, through her ability to obtain love and sexual satisfaction from other
women, is freed of dependence on men for love, sex, and money. (307)

Three penalties:

...child raising are denied to her. (307)

...still must compete with men in the job market (307)

...she faces the most severe contempt and ridicule that society can
heap on a woman. (308)
Psychological and Sexual
Repression
Notes of A Radical Lesbian (cont.)
Threat

A woman who is totally independent of men...is a terrible threat to male supremacy. (308)

Hostility

...because they are not afraid of being abandoned by men, are less reluctant to express
hostility toward the male class - the oppressors of women. (308)

Myth of sickness

Society has taught most Lesbians to believe they are sick, and has taught most straight
women to despise and fear the Lesbian as a perverted, diseased creature. (309)
Psychological and Sexual
Repression
Notes of A Radical Lesbian (cont.)
Our kind of love is as valid as anyone elses. (310)

We must have a revolution for human rights. (311)

Maybe after the revolution, people will be able to love each other regardless of skin
color, ethnic origin, occupation or type of genitals. (311)
Anthologies by Women of Color and the
Question of Intersectionality
If women were suddenly to achieve equality with men tomorrow, black women would
continue to carry the entire array of utterly oppressive handicaps associated with race
(Norton, For Sadie and Maude, 355).
...Any colonized woman will feel an impulse toward unity with her brothers rather than
challenge against them (Colonized Women, the Chicana, 376).
And the family is but one example of how the culture or life-style of a colonized people
becomes a weapon of self-defense in a hostile world--hostile to any signs of unity among
them, hostile to their very existence. It is a weapon against their oppressors divide and
conquer [tactic] with which he has sustained his rule theses many centuries (Colonized
Women, the Chicana, 377).
Within a very short span of time, the rights of Chinese women had become an important
political issue; to actualize these rights required a restructuring of Chinese society (Colonized
Women, the Experiment in Freedom: Chinese Women, 392) .
Anthologies by Women of Color and the
Question of Intersectionality
Other Anthologies for and about Women of color by Women of Color:
Colonized Women: the Chicana
The Mexican-American woman by Enriquetta Longauex y Vasquez
Experiment in Freedom: Women of China by Charlotte Bonny Cohen
Statement on Birth Control by Black Women's Liberation Group, Mount Vernon,
New York
Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female
On Desegregating Stuyvesant High
Anthologies by Women of Color and the
Question of Intersectionality
Women in the Black Liberation Movement
The Black Womens Liberation Group of Mount Vernon was active in
the late 1960s and early 1970s and included women from different
economic backgrounds.

This group influenced many later Second Wave movements, however


the dominant narratives of the Second Wave might presuppose the
inverse (Norman)
Anthologies by Women of Color and the
Question of Intersectionality
This group used the self-determination ideologies of Black Power and
womens liberation (Norman) in the anthology Statement on birth
control.

This was a clear demand of an interracial project of Sisterhood

Unfinished business: Birth Control and Women's Liberation by


Lucinda Cisler
Discussion
Questions
Looking at the works in Sisterhood is Powerful, it is clear that women of color were
heavily involved and influential in the Second Wave, then why isnt the presence and impact
of women of color in the Second Wave fully recognized?

When we use a language such as Sisterhood are we in a way fostering a collective


that erases, deemphasizes our differences, thus promoting homogeneity by inevitably
placing white women and their experiences at the center?

How can your roots, cultural,and economic experiences strengthen your own
understanding of feminism? How do we use this understanding to challenge the power and
social structures today?
Works Cited
Morgan, Robin. Sisterhood is Powerful: an anthology of writings from the womens liberation
movement, ed. Robin Morgan. New York: Random House, 1970.

Brain Norman. "The Consciousness-Raising Document, Feminist Anthologies, and Black


Women in "Sisterhood Is Powerful"" Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 27, no. 3 (2006):
38-64.

Powerful, Sisterhood, Fighting Words, and The Time. "Robin Morgan | Author, Activist,
Feminist | NYC". Robin Morgan | Author, Activist, Feminist | NYC. N.p., 2017. Web. 19 Mar.
2017.

BabakJoy2014. "AUGUST 26, 1970 AND THE BIRTH OF U.S. FEMINISM." Mary Scully Reports.
Mary Scully Reports, 26 Aug. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.

Gedal, Anna. "The 1970 Women's March for Equality in NYC." Behind The Scenes. N.p., 21
July 2015. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.

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