|Where am I from:||New Zealand|
|Tone of my iris:||I’ve got cold green eyes but I use colored contact lenses|
|Figure type:||My body features is quite chubby|
What happens to a dream deferred? For four days beginning November 18,a diverse group of 2, women—elected as delegates at state conventions across the U. More than 15, additional women attended as observers. Delegates emerged with a platform that included controversial and forward-looking support for gay rights, abortion rights, minority rights, and the Equal Rights Amendment ERA —a proposed addition to the U. Constitution that, at that point in history, still seemed likely to be ratified, and which would have guaranteed women equal protection under the law.
Planners even organized an Olympic-style torch relay from Seneca Falls to Houston. But that weekend in is more often remembered for the birth of a unified anti-feminist movement. Earlier this year, Marjorie Spruill, professor of history at the University of South Carolina, published Divided We Standa history of that crucial weekend in Houston.
She spoke to us by phone from Houston.
Was that part of your reason for writing the book? It was such a media extravaganza at the time. All three networks plus PBS were covering it.
A lot of them ran their morning news shows from Houston. It was on the cover of Time ; all the major magazines ran feature stories on it.
If you were going to ask me why it has been so forgotten, I do not understand it. Would you say Texas put its distinct imprint on the conference? MS: Yes. They chose Houston in part because Texas had so many highly visible feminists. Ann Richards at the time was a county commissioner. It kind of launched her.
Bella Abzug chose her to put the plank endorsing the Equal Rights Amendment into play. Schlafly was initially opposed to it.
Schlafly was a very careful strategist, and she was afraid that, if they held this thing and not enough people came, it would make them look ridiculous and weak. Prior tothe pro-life movement had deliberately remained a single-issue movement and had not ed forces with the Stop ERA movement.
National women's conference
That inflamed a lot of pro-life people. The Pro-Life, Pro-Family Rally was important for bringing them together and making them see themselves as a movement.
Did Texas itself play a role? One wonders. TM: In retrospect, it can appear that the backlash against the conference was perhaps of greater ificance than the conference itself. What exactly did the conference achieve?
More than a conference
MS: When I was working on this, early on I noticed that both sides claimed it as a victory. That was one of the things that really caught my attention and made me want to explore this.
Schlafly called it a victory because she believed it was crucial in polishing off the Equal Rights Amendment, which was already in trouble. Houston unified and strengthened both movements.
Women meeting women for friendship groups in houston
That sets the country up for the strongly polarized political culture we have now. Issues that are loaded with moral and religious ificance come to the top of the political agenda, and the two parties choose sides between the two movements. TM: Should Texas feminists be proud to have this event as part of their history, given the mixed ? MS: I definitely think so.
The national women's conference in houston was supposed to change the world. what went wrong?
What are the laws regarding rape and the treatment of victims in your state? And what have we done in our state that has really worked and that you ought to try? There is a new force, a new understanding, a new sisterhood against all injustice that has been born here. We shall not be divided and defeated again!