This lesson introduces students to women activists who helped define and broaden the public discussion of women’s issues in the late 1960s, an era of enormous political upheaval in the United States and around the world.
Scholars often divide the women’s movement of the late 1960s and 1970s into two generations. The older generation, known as equal rights feminists, campaigned for equal rights and equal opportunities for women. They founded lasting organizations such as the National Organization for Women (NOW). The younger generation, often called the women’s liberation movement, learned their political lessons in the civil rights and antiwar movements. They wanted to transform both public and private life. A founding event of the women’s liberation movement is the 1968 Miss America Pageant Protest.