Sex, Gender, and the Politics of ERA: A State and the Nation

Paperback | April 30, 1999

byDonald G. Mathews, Jane S. De Hart

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Sex, Gender, and the Politics of ERA is the most profound and sensitive discussion to date of the way in which women responded to feminism. Drawing on extensive research and interviews, Mathews and De Hart explore the fate of the ERA in North Carolina--one of the three states targeted by bothsides as essential to ratification--to reveal the dynamics that stunned supporters across America. The authors insightfully link public discourse and private feelings, placing arguments used throughout the nation in the personal contexts of women who pleaded their cases for and against equality.Beginning with a study of woman suffrage, the book shows how issues of sex, gender, race, and power remained potent weapons on the ERA battlefield. The ideas of such vocal opponents as Phyllis Schlafly and Senator Sam Ervin set the perfect stage for mothers to confess their terror at the violationof their daughters in a post-ERA world, while the prospect of losing ratification to this terror impelled supporters to shed the white gloves of genteel lobbying for the combat boots of political in-fighting. In the end, the efforts of ERA supporters could neither outweigh the symbolic actions ofits opponents nor weaken the resistance of those same legislators to further federal guarantees of equality. Ultimately, opponents succeeded in making equality for women seem dangerous. In thus explaining the ERA controversy, the authors brilliantly illuminate the many meanings of feminism for theAmerican people.

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Sex, Gender, and the Politics of ERA is the most profound and sensitive discussion to date of the way in which women responded to feminism. Drawing on extensive research and interviews, Mathews and De Hart explore the fate of the ERA in North Carolina--one of the three states targeted by bothsides as essential to ratification--to revea...

Donald G. Mathews and Jane Sherron De Hart are both professors of History and American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and both have written several books on American history.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.25 × 6.14 × 0.91 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195078527

ISBN - 13:9780195078527

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"There are several other books on the ERA....But few are as elegantly written as this book, and none provides an in-depth case study of the women's movement and its opponents at the state level during this crucial stage of mobilization. This book should be read both by social movementscholars, for its superb documentation of the dynamics of mobilization, and by gender scholars, for its stunning portrayal of the history of feminism."--Contemporary Sociology