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NOMAS 37th National Conference on Men and Masculinity

and

NCADV's 15th National Conference Domestic Violence

NOMAS Joins with NOW to Celebrate the Legacy of Betty Friedan

Dr. Robert Brannon, for NOMAS

 

Just over 50 years ago, in a house beside the Hudson river, a woman in her mid-30’s, Betty Goldstein Friedan, struggled in isolation, against impossible, ancient, even invisible glass-ceiling barriers, to write a book which in turn would ignite a blaze, that would finally change the world.  But in the beginning, in this suburban beautiful spot, her path was steep, lonely, and up-hill.

 

My students and most young people today can barely imagine the sleepy, patriarchal Eisenhower years of the 1950’s.   As Friedan remembered:   Men headed every institution;  “there was no “woman’s vote;”  women voted as their husbands did.  No pollster of political candidate talked about “women’s issues”;  women were not taken that seriously..., did not take themselves seriously.  Abortion was a word not printed in newspapers;  it was a sleazy crime, that shamed and terrified and often killed women, and whose practitioners could go to jail.”   “...Men all over the planet took for granted their right to beat or abuse their wives.”

 

Friedan had worked as a journalist until, she remembers, being “fired from a newspaper job, for being pregnant.”  Now she was struggling uneasily, to live the life of a middle-class American housewife.   “I like other women thought there was something wrong with me, because I didn’t have an orgasm waxing the kitchen floor.  We didn’t admit it to each other if we felt there should be more in life than peanut butter sandwiches with the kids. 

 

A turning point came when in 1957 she collected 200 questionnaires from other Smith college classmates.  As she read of how her well-educated friends and contemporaries had fared in life since college, wheels began to turn in her mind.  She began to think, to read, and to write.

 

In 1959, she signed a book contract.  “I got a baby-sitter three days a week, and took the bus from Rockland County to the City...  She had a burning desire to write;  but, she was also a suburban wife, with a commuting husband, and three young children, aged nine, five, and one.

 

Her husband was sure she was wasting her time.

Men’s Studies Association of NOMAS honors American feminist scholars

The Men’s Studies Association of NOMAS wishes to identify and honor the many American scholars who, since the late 1960's, have been:

 

Notable Career Contributors to Social Science, from a Clearly Feminist Perspective. 

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While any such list inevitably will be incomplete, the MSA has tentatively identified the following qualified social scientists:

Paula Gunn Allen, Kathleen Barry, Pauline Bart, Sandra Bem, Jesse Bernard, Lee Bowker, Martha Burt, Paula Caplan, Phyllis Chesler, Nancy Chodorow, Patricia Collins, Nancy Cott, Gail Dines, Riane Eisler, Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Joanne Evansgardner, Melissa Farley, Michelle Fine, Nancy Folbre, Estelle Friedman, Jo Freeman, Carol Gilligan, Marija Gimbutas, Kathleen Grady, Donna Haraway, Nancy Henley, Judith Herman, Arlie Hochschild, Donna Hughes, Carol Nagy Jacklin, Allan Johnson, Suzanne Kessler, Michael Kimmel, Mary Koss, Robin Lakoff, Louise Lamphere, Judith Long Laws, Gerda Lerner, Harriet Lerner, Eleanor Maccoby, Virginia O’Leary, Chris O'Sullivan, Mary Brown Parlee, Joseph Pleck, Janice Raymond, Rayna Reiter, Pam Roby, Ruby Rohrlich, Esther Rothblum, Paula Rothenberg, Alice Rossi, Diana Russell, Virgina Russo, Peggy Reeves Sanday, Joan Scott, Ruth Seidel, Carolyn Sheriff, Julia Sherman, Elaine Showalter, Dorothy Smith, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Catharine Stimpson, Sandra Tangri, Carol Tavris, Dorothy Tennov, Barrie Thorne, Ethyl Tobach, Rhoda Unger, Naomi Weisstein, Sally Roesch Wagner, Barbara Strudler Walston, Lenore Weitzman, Rebecca Whisnant, Gail Wyatt.

 

The MSA welcomes additional nominations, by June 1, 2013.

     In a future second stage, we plan to identify and to especially honor and celebrate a smaller select group of great feminist scholars who were visionary feminist thinkers and leaders, asked new questions, opened our eyes to the mechanisms of patriarchy, and, brought science into new areas, including violence against women.

 

     The MSA’s final decisions will be announced in Summer 2013 at www.Nomas.org and other national media.