‘Make Room for Motherhood: American Post-Suffrage Feminism and the Unpublished Articles of Crystal Eastman’ with Amy Aronson on 13 January 2021

Wednesday, 13th January 2021 4:00pm (London)

Three weeks after the suffrage amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1920, the suffragist, labor lawyer, anti-war activist, and feminist journalist Crystal Eastman attended a meeting of the National Woman’s Party. Now that the vote was won, what agenda should the organization – the world’s first women’s political party – pursue? Eastman argued that to win what she christened “this hundred-year war for equality,” women needed a feminist revolution on the home front. To her, the crucial battleground encompassed not merely the drive for independence, but the quest for balance between independence and interdependence, emancipation and devotion.

This talk will sketch Eastman’s vision for feminism and family life in the American post-suffrage era. Early in the 1920s, her ideas, advocated mainly in her journalism, aligned with equalitarian feminists on both sides of the Atlantic. But by later in the decade, some of her work had become too wayward to entertain either in the UK or the USA.  By exploring both her accepted writings and the pieces Eastman could not place in the feminist journals she frequented, this article evinces some critical parameters in feminist thinking during the pivotal years when the next wave of the American women’s movement was struggling to rise.

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The webinar is limited to 100 attendees, so please cancel your place if you can no longer attend. The session will be live streamed on Facebook. The back catalogue of seminars is available for members on the WHN website.


       Dr Amy Aronson