Memo From Casey Hayden And Mary King To A Number Of Other Women In The Peace And Freedom Movements

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As the 1960’s dawned in the United States and gave rise to the second wave of feminism, many activists, as well as society as a whole, began to explore the ways that women were being restricted from possible opportunities. This included opportunities for social advancement, employment, and independence that were investigated by the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and later various state commissions. Meanwhile, the African-American people of the country had already identified ways that society was impeding on their freedom and fought back using various forms of protest as well as organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Mary King was a young woman who joined the staff of the Student …show more content…
Their message was criticized when delivered, but, in 1965, after the passage of the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act, they decided to coauthor a letter to forty women across various social movements. This document, “A Kind of Memo from Casey Hayden and Mary King to a Number of Other Women in the Peace and Freedom Movements,” appealed for comradery amongst the women they wrote to for support for women across their movements. In their memo, King and Hayden asserted to their contemporaries that equality for women deserved a place within the Civil Rights movement because the treatment of women and African Americans was comparable, self-perceptions and institutions were beginning to change, conversations about women’s issues were being suppressed, and the problems faced by women were also the problems of …show more content…
For instance, they say, “There seem to be many parallels that can be drawn between the treatment of Negros and the treatment of women in our society as a whole. But in particular, the women we’ve talked to who work in the movement…” (King and Hayden 1965). Here they first identified themselves, though they are white, with the African-American people who were trying to obtain their rights in society as a whole. They do this to establish a platform, in addition to being fellow women, on which to present their ideas to the target community of reformers, thereby increasing the effectiveness of their appeal. Secondly, they get more specific and begin speaking about how the movement itself is suppressing the women working in it by causing them to be subordinates because of their sex. This added another layer to the discussion because it goes beyond questioning society for the mistreatment of women, but rather begged the question of how subordination of women could find a place in any movement seeking equality. To demonstrate this, King and Hayden give examples of “situations ranging from relationships of women organizers to men in the community, to

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