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Women’s Struggle for Equality a unit guide that teachers, parents can adapt for social isolation

  • Preview of Women struggle toward equality.pdf - page 1
Subject Social Studies — Civic Participation, Civil Rights, Current Events, Historical Thinking, National and Western Expansion, Native Americans, Research Skills, State and Local History, US Government, US History, World History, World War II
Grade Level Grades 3-12
Resource Type Activity
Attributes Good for Parents
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Attribution Non-commercial ShareAlike

CC (BY-NC-SA)

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The Unfinished Business of Women’s Equality: Educators’ Guide and student handouts is very extensive and provides a great many additional resources. This is a very powerful and necessary topic that all individuals need to discuss, share ideas and expand their understanding of the information.  I have included a video on the 14th Amendment interview that HS students had with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

In addition, I have included a  poem She Sings by George Ellen Lyons that I think is very powerful message about the prevailing attitudes that most woman encounter as they live their lives. The poet read her poem at Women's March on Washington Sister March- on Jan. 21, 2017.  My ELA students found it was filled with stark truth. She is also hs an unsung talent with music and lyrics with several world famous protest musicians during the civil rights era. She sings about domestic violence against women and the institutions that have been convoluted to make this violent treatment seem acceptable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W9SLpkLD_A

George Lyons share that her poem was inspired by Joanna Russ book How to Suppress Women’s Writing. After repeated deep reading and listening to George share her poem I researched Joanna Russ and was also deeply moved by her words. I have shared below several quotes from her book.

"She didn't write it. She wrote it but she shouldn't have. She wrote it but look what she wrote about. She wrote it but she isn't really an artist, and it isn't really art. She wrote it but she had help. She wrote it but she's an anomaly. She wrote it BUT..." How to Suppress Women's Writing is a meticulously researched and humorously written "guidebook" to the many ways women and other "minorities" have been barred from producing written art.

“If you are a woman and wish to become pre-eminent in a field, it's a good idea to (a) invent it and (b) locate it in an area either so badly paid or of such low status that men don't want it”
― Joanna Russ, How to Suppress Women’s Writing

I grew up in United States in the 1950s, in a world in which fantasy was supposed to be the opposite of reality. 'Rational,' 'mature' people were concerned only with a narrowly defined 'reality' and only the 'immature' or the 'neurotic' (all-purpose put-downs) had any truck with fantasy, which was then considered to be wishful thinking, escapism, and other bad things, attractive only to the weak and damaged. Only Communists, feminists, homosexuals and other deviants were unsatisfied with Things As They Were at the time and Heaven help you if you were one of those. ― Joanna Russ, How to Suppress Women’s Writing

Women's ongoing struggle with issues that marginalize them is central to a world built on equality for all individuals. It is time 51% of the world's population is afforded equal treatment of the other 49%.

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