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"The clothes I wear help me to know my own power": the politics of gender presentation in the era of women's liberation.

In 1971 a woman writing in the Iowa City feminist journal Ain't I a Woman? described her decision to cut her hair as the definitive experience of women's liberation. Previously, her hair "grew down to [her] waist," and thinking of cutting it made her stomach "contract in terror." After she cut it extremely short, however, she discovered a newfound self-confidence and independence. "In classes I didn't have to bother about how I was coming across," she explained. "When I walk through the commons, I feel much less on display." Refusing to look like, in her words, "an attractive female," she no longer had to worry about men's unwanted stares and advances. Most of all, by cutting her hair, she rejected the notion that her identity was tied to femininity: "So now when I look in the mirror I see a person who really doesn't look like a girl. She doesn't look like a boy. Really, what she looks like hasn't been labeled yet. She looks like ME." (1)

Cutting one's hair was just one example of how some feminists in the 1960s and 1970s rejected traditional standards of feminine beauty as oppressive and objectifying of women. Feminist criticisms of makeup, high heels, and miniskirts have been well documented by scholars, and nearly every history of the so-called second-wave feminist movement recounts the protest at the 1968 Miss America Pageant as the epitome of feminist critiques of fashion and beauty culture. (2) But this Iowa City feminist illustrated how the self-fashioning techniques of women's liberationists were also, in some cases, part of the feminist quest to reject gender binaries that strictly separated masculine and feminine roles. By failing to "look like" a traditional woman, this activist challenged the notion that men and women were as different as socially constructed roles of gender made them out to be.

While not all feminists cut their hair or rejected feminine beauty culture, the politicization of hairstyles, dress, and self-presentation became central to the cultural politics of the second-wave feminist movement, widely discussed in feminist and mainstream periodicals alike. Indeed, self-presentation remains a contested topic among feminists today, as activists continue to debate the implications of fashion and beauty culture for women. This article analyzes the politics of gender presentation--defined in this paper as one's choice of dress, hairstyles, and self-fashioning as part of one's display of gender to the outside world--as it was debated by feminists and their observers during the movement's early years of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Women's dress, hair, and fashion styles became the sites of cultural battles over the meanings of feminism and womanhood.

Feminists were not the only ones in the 1960s and 1970s to challenge what it meant to "look like" a man or a woman. Fashion trends such as long hair on men, jeans and pants on women, and unisex clothing also challenged previously established norms of gendered dress. Nor was women's liberation the first social movement of the era to politicize self-presentation; hippies, student and anti-Vietnam War activists, and Black Power advocates all appropriated self-fashioning styles as part of their political activism. (3) During these years the public hotly debated these broader changes in gendered self-presentation, as well as activists' hair and dress styles. Feminists, however, were the first 1960s activists to connect gender-bending dress and hairstyles to an explicit politics of gender that challenged broader conceptions of sex roles and femininity. This case study of self-presentation as a political tactic of women's liberation thus highlights some of the successes, challenges, and divisions within second-wave feminism.

On the one hand feminists who promoted the concept of freedom of choice in dress pushed American society to accept changing fashion styles for women. Many American women, inspired in part by the rhetoric of the women's movement, fought for the freedom to wear pantsuits or miniskirts at workplaces and at schools, and by the 1970s many of these institutions began to accept these styles on women. On the other hand the feminist politics of self-presentation drew skepticism from those who feared that the feminist movement sought to eradicate gender differences between men and women. Antifeminists, most notably Phyllis Schlafly and opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment, capitalized on these "unfeminine" self-presentation styles to prove that feminists sought to destroy gender distinctions that anti-feminists believed were real and important. As mainstream media focused on the hair and dress styles of feminist activists and journalists derided women's liberationists as "ugly" and "unfeminine," some Americans were led to believe that, by failing to "look like" traditional women, feminists hoped to destroy womanhood and gender difference altogether.

The politics of self-presentation thus became a contentious issue among feminists and their observers, highlighting broader conflicts between groups of feminists and the skepticism that some women and men felt toward the movement. Within feminist circles activists disagreed over the meaning and efficacy of self-fashioning as a political statement. While no opinion was monolithic within any one group, trends emerged in feminist periodicals that illustrated specific divides that formed among activist women, often (though not always) along lines of age, sexuality, class, and race.

Debates on feminist gender presentation also revealed deeper conflicts among feminists and nonfeminists alike over the meaning of female identity and womanhood. Did nontraditional, androgynous, or "masculine" self-presentations help to create a new feminist version of womanhood, free from socially constructed gender roles? Or did rejecting traditional feminine gender presentation signal that feminists sought to abandon their heterosexual female identities? Those who believed the former often embraced new forms of self-styling; those who believed the latter often rejected politicized self-presentation as further proof of the radical nature of feminist activism. Self-presentation, of course, is also a deeply personal decision, and individual feminists wore a myriad of styles and expressed a multitude of opinions on these styles. But more often than not, debates on gender presentation among feminists and their observers returned to a common theme: what it meant to be a woman in an era of women's liberation.


The women's liberation movement introduced itself to America in 1968, when a number of women's liberation groups staged a massive protest at the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. The protest garnered the reputation of feminists as "bra burners," as the women threw bras, along with cosmetics, girdles, high-heeled shoes, and issues of Playboy and Cosmopolitan, into a "Freedom Trash Can." (4) While the media misrepresented the method of protest at the pageant--nothing was burned--these activists sent a message that feminism rejected a culture that defined women by how they looked. In a leaflet handed out at the protest, New York Radical Women compared the pageant to a county fair, "where the nervous animals are judged for teeth, fleece, etc., and where the best 'specimen' gets the blue ribbon. So are women in our society forced daily to compete for male approval, enslaved by ludicrous 'beauty' standards we ourselves are conditioned to take seriously." (5)

To be sure, the Miss America protest was not the beginning of feminist activism in the United States. In the 1960s new visibility for feminist concerns and new organizations to fight for women's rights were emerging. The publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique in 1963 called for increased education and work opportunities for women, and the book drew new attention to the plight of middle- and upper-class housewives. (6) In 1966 Friedan and other activist women, many of whom had been active in women's issues in the 19405 and 1950s, formed the National Organization for Women (Now), a civil rights organization for women modeled after African American organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAAcP). (7) The primary goals of NOW were legal and legislative. Two years earlier Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act had been amended to ban employment discrimination based on sex as well as race. (8) When the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the government organization created to enforce Title VII, refused to take seriously women's claims of employment discrimination, NOW lobbied for the commission to carry out investigations and file lawsuits based on women's complaints and also pressured the EEOC to restrict employers from specifying the preferred sex of employees in job advertisements. (9) Early "second-wave" women's organizations such as NOW thus focused their efforts on legal channels to fight discrimination experienced by women in the workplace. (10)

At the same time that NOW and other women's organizations were focusing on legal and legislative change, a younger group of feminists was emerging that would challenge the priorities and the politics of these older feminists. The women leaders of NOW were often older and more experienced in legislative channels of political activism than were the younger women joining "women's liberation" groups like the ones that protested at the Miss America Pageant. (11) Most of these latter activists had developed their political consciousness from their experiences in civil rights and New Left activism earlier in the decade. (12) Many of these women also adopted hair and dress styles that were popular among the female counterculture; long hair, unshaved legs and underarms, and no makeup or brassieres were all considered symbols of a more "natural" state of womanhood. (13) Indeed, one New Left periodical's coverage of the protest of the Miss America Pageant identified the protestors not as feminists, but as "hairy women" and "hippies," not recognizing their self-presentation as a sign of their feminism. (14)

Women's liberationists borrowed the notion, first developed by New Left activists, that "the personal is political." (15) Early women's liberationists discussed the ways that personal relationships shaped the roles of men and women in society; essays on housework, sexual relationships, marriage, and motherhood appeared regularly in women's liberation periodicals. (16) Personal decisions such as changing one's last name upon marriage, they argued, held political ramifications and consequences that needed to be addressed in American culture just as much as codified forms of legal and economic discrimination needed to be addressed through legislative channels. (17) Indeed, some women's liberationists differentiated themselves from "mainstream" women's groups like NOW through their focus on personal politics. A feminist in Kansas City, Missouri, explained that, while NOW fought for legislative change in "Congress and courtrooms," her women's liberation group fought for a "cultural revolution" to "end traditional notions of masculinity and femininity." (18)

Examining cultural ideas of feminine beauty became a significant aspect of the "personal politics" of women's liberationists. At first these women focused on the sexism they experienced in New Left organizations. New Left women complained not only that they were relegated to menial tasks such as typing while men occupied decision-making roles but that New Left men sexually objectified them. They were "expected to look pretty," one woman explained, to "look [and] act feminine ... and ugly women [were] scarce because they [were] actively discouraged." (19) New Left women were particularly enraged when a report on women's liberation in the newsletter of Students for a Democratic Society displayed a cartoon portraying a woman "with earrings, polkadot minidress, and matching visible panties ... holding a sign [that said] 'We Want Our Rights and We Want Them Now.'" (20) The leftist Ramparts magazine referred to women's groups as "The Miniskirt Caucus" and emphasized women's clothes rather than their political demands. "It was obvious," one New Left woman complained, "that the playing up of fashions with regard to women perpetuates their status as sexual objects, and this is the basic form of oppression women must struggle against." (21) As a result of these experiences many women began leaving New Left organizations to form separate women's liberation groups. (22)

New Left men, however, were far from the only ones to focus on women as sexual objects. The American media was filled with sexualized images of women, particularly when it came to makeup, hair, and dress. One feminist explained that advertisements for cosmetics and feminine beauty products were really "aimed more at men than women. They encourage men to expect women to sport all the latest trappings of sexual slavery--expectations women must then fulfill if they are to survive. ... One of a woman's jobs in this society is to be an attractive sexual object, and clothes and make up are tools of the trade." (23) Women felt compelled to buy a myriad of beauty products to attain the standards of attractiveness and femininity that society required; in this way capitalism and social expectations of beauty culture went hand-in-hand as mutually reinforcing the oppression of women. (24) "Makeup," as one San Francisco feminist wrote, "is merely a toy that manufacturers have been pushing down our throats for years via t.v. commercials and ads which skillfully convince us that this miracle called makeup is the only way to ensure our success, love and acceptance in this society." (25) Women's liberationists therefore based their rejection of beauty culture in part on arguments against consumer capitalism that the hippie counterculture had previously advanced.

Underlying these criticisms of consumer culture and sexualization were deeper feminist critiques of existing standards of femininity and womanhood. In patriarchal society, these feminists argued, it was men who decided how women should look and behave. Men similarly created traditional feminine fashions and beauty culture as a means to keep women oppressed, stealing their time and money and harming their mobility by forcing them to wear expensive, constricting makeup and fashions. "Women have been forced to dress as objects since the invention of patriarchy," one woman explained. "Why are women forced to dress certain ways? Because our clothes help keep us oppressed. They are a constant reminder of our position." (26) "Who is the Man?" another group of feminists asked. "He values women according to our physical appearance. He imposes his idea of womanhood on us, rewarding us for being weak and defenseless." (27) Eschewing patriarchal definitions of femininity therefore meant that feminists needed to reject traditional feminine beauty.

Lesbian feminists further articulated connections between patriarchy and traditional feminine gender presentation. These lesbians, who often formed separate organizations in the 1970s due to their feeling of marginalization in so-called mainstream women's groups, argued that lesbianism was a political statement against traditional definitions of womanhood. (28) Lesbians, they claimed, ought not be afraid to shed stereotypical feminine dress and gender presentation as part of this statement. In the 1970 manifesto "The Women-Identified Woman" members of the organization Radicalesbians explained that lesbianism provided women the ultimate escape from "male culture" by rejecting all social definitions of what women ought to be. Lesbians were not sexual objects at the service of men and thus did not need to look "feminine" in order to be desirable to men. (29) Some lesbian feminists therefore rejected both social expectations of heterosexuality, which bound women to men, and cultural expectations of femininity, which bound women to look a certain way for men. "I am in deeper and more righteous revolt," explained lesbian feminist Sally Gearhart, "against the exploitative capitalistic economy which ... tells me (as it does not tell a man) that [my] body is an object of male pleasure on which I am expected to expend thirty tubes of lipstick every year." (30) Lesbians could thus reject feminine beauty standards since they had already eschewed male-defined standards of heterosexual femininity.

Moreover, dress and gender presentation visually challenged sex and gender roles. Earlier writings by anthropologist Margaret Mead and psychologist John Money had introduced terms like sex roles and gender to differentiate the biological manifestations of sex from the social enactment of masculine and feminine behavior. (31) Women's liberationists borrowed this terminology, using it to argue that differences between men and women were socially created, rather than natural components of biological difference, and that gender inequality resulted from these socialized differences. (32) "The explanation [for women's oppression] does not lie in 'nature,' that scapegoat which has been used for eons to justify the subjugation of all minority groups," women's liberationist Jo Freeman explained. "Rather, the answer lies among the hazy myths about women and the traditional beliefs of the proper sex-roles. ... To be 'feminine' is to be weak, gentle, submissive, emotional, and above all, sexual." (33) Traditional fashions, feminists argued, exacerbated these sex roles: high heels restricted women's movement; makeup obscured women's faces; and skirts left women cold, uncomfortable, and sexually accessible to men. (34) Separate fashions for men and women, moreover, perpetuated the false conception of women as naturally different from men. Lesbian feminist Colletta Reid perhaps put it best: "Female clothing, just like female hair styles ... are all aimed at making the differences between men and women readily apparent. If men and women dressed and acted alike ... how would men know who to treat as inferior, who to hire as secretaries, who to rape?" (35) Some feminists thus used dress and hairstyles to explicitly dispute gender differences and conceptions of womanhood they saw as oppressive, objectifying, and fallacious.

A number of feminists thus advocated a cultural politics of self-presentation that rejected patriarchal and socially constructed prescriptions of feminine dress. Feminist consciousness-raising workshops included discussions of how much time women spent on applying makeup and whether or not they wore nylons and bras, asking them to consider the role of fashion and beauty culture in their oppression. (36) Women's lib and lesbian feminist writings encouraged women to eschew makeup, high heels, skirts, and dresses, opting for the mobility and comfort provided by pants and blue jeans. (37) Perhaps the most controversial decision that some feminists made was to cut their hair, ridding themselves of the long locks that defined both traditional femininity (at least for white women) and membership in the 1960s counterculture. "Hair is political," proclaimed one New York City lesbian feminist. "Short hair is a symbol of emancipation. Long hair requires effort, time-consuming and frequently expensive care. It is accepted, in fact, almost required by patriarchal culture." (38) Cutting one's hair was thus a symbolic escape from patriarchal standards of feminine beauty. Some feminist women also refused to shave the hair on their legs and underarms. "A woman must shave her legs and armpits because hairiness is 'masculine,'" another woman explained. "But that hair is part of Me, the Me I've finally begun to get in touch with. ... Why should I shave twice a week to satisfy someone else's standards of feminine beauty?" (39)

By adopting what would come to be known as an "androgynous uniform" (or, for lesbians, a "dyke uniform")--often consisting of jeans, button-down work shirts, and work boots, often without makeup and bras, and sometimes with short hair--these women's liberationists and lesbian feminists visually displayed their political goal of creating a society free of gender distinctions, defying expectations that men and women ought to "look different" from each other. (40) Some feminists embraced the "masculine" connotations of their new appearance; one Boston woman not only cut her hair but also started wearing men's clothes, playing football, and telling family and friends, "Don't call me Ellen; I'm Ellis," thus connecting her new self-fashioning to a traditionally "masculine" identity. (41) Other feminists imbued unisex styles, which were becoming increasingly popular in American culture, with new political meaning. (42) "Today's fashions reflect the increasing convergence of men's and women's roles and recognize similarities long ignored for the sake of exaggerated differences," explained one feminist. "It may be hoped that unisex fashions represent a move toward equality in roles and responsibilities." (43) Unisex or androgynous fashions were thus explicitly tied to the feminist project of erasing socially enforced distinctions between the sexes that contributed to gender inequality. As one activist succinctly explained in 1968, "No woman can be free, as a person, until she loses her femininity." (44)

Alternative styles of self-presentation thus allowed feminists to eschew the discomfort of standard women's clothes, freeing them from stereotypes of submissive femininity that were reinforced by traditional dress. "We wear what makes us feel strong on the streets, gives us freedom of movement, and frees us as much as possible from sexist attacks by men," explained one member of the lesbian feminist group Dykes and Gorgons. (45) "I discovered the comfort and practicality of boots--men's boots with thicker soles and longer wear than women's," explained another lesbian feminist. "Levis with all their pockets (purses were an image of the sexual sell which I rejected) and shirts with long tails (so they'd stay tucked in ... women's blouses are cut short and it's impossible, if you're an active person, to keep them in). It wasn't a masculine image I was creating. It was convenience and practicality." (46) As Liza Cowan, a lesbian feminist in New York City, concluded, "The clothes I wear help me to know my own power." (47)


But not all women's liberationists followed these tenets of personal style. At one feminist rally in San Francisco in 1970 some women wore dungarees and blue jeans, while others wore miniskirts and high heels; some women wore makeup, while others purposely did not. One young woman told a reporter that she wore "heavy sandals, denim pants and olive drab sweatshirt" because she feared that men would otherwise see her only as a sex object rather than as a "human being." She admitted, however, that she missed her former, feminine attire: "I'd like to dress up and look sexy," she confessed. Another "miniskirted participant" explained that she could not get a job unless she arrived to interviews wearing makeup and a skirt, thus constraining her ability to participate in the feminist politics of self-presentation. Other women simply maintained that they liked dressing femininely. "It's fun to put a scarf around your waist and a cap on your head," explained one participant from Sacramento. "I like to wear makeup once in a while," said another. This was fine, she argued, as long as she was dressing to please herself, not men. "It's fun as long as it's not controlling you," she explained. "Clothes should be an extension of yourself." (48)

These discussions on dress and makeup among women at the International Women's Day events in San Francisco highlighted many of the conflicts that arose among femalists in the 1970s over the politics of self-presentation. Some began to debate precisely who was included in (and excluded from) the politics of self-presenton, while others questioned whether women needed to dress in a certain vary in order to be truly "liberated" or whether having the choice to dress as one wished was liberation enough. Within feminist groups women became divided over the meaning, goals, and propriety of self-presentation politics, open questioning the relationship between new styles of feminist self-presentat on and their personal understandings of womanhood and female identity.

How did NOW, the largest and most famous organization of the second wave, respond to the politics of self-presentation? Some NOW leaders and members, particularly on local chapter settings, participated in these critiques of fashion and beauty culture. (49) But many Now members continued to wear makeup, high heels, and dresses. (50) The national leadership of NOW was significantly older than the members of many women's liberation groups, and many of them remained wary of the self-fashioning tactics of women's liberationists. One organization leader worried that focusing on fashion and dress would distract the movement from crucial legal battles. "I know you, as I, have to steer interviewers away from critical topics like the maxiskirt, hotpants, makeup, bras, and the shaving of legs," she complained in a letter to a fellow board member. "I cannot spend time nor energy, nor can any of us," on diversionary issues like fashion. In order to "liberate ... women where it counts," she argued, Now needed to eschew issues of dress and gender presentation and remain focused on legal change. (51)

Other organization leaders feared that the self-presentation of women's liberationists would exacerbate stereotypes of feminism, particularly that feminist women were "ugly" or "unfeminine." As older, middle- and upper-class professional women early NOW organization leaders staked their reputations on respectable, conventional self-presentation "to avoid becoming stereotyped in the public eye." (52) In 1967 the New York NOW chapter described its members as "articulate" and "attractive" professionals, implicitly staking the legitimacy of the organization on both the class status and the traditional femininity of its members. (53) Some NOW leaders therefore balked at the politicized self-presentation styles of younger activists. Betty Friedan, NOW'S founder, criticized hair-cutting politics at the 1969 Congress to Unite Women in New York City, when a group of young women from Boston's Cell 16, a radical feminist group, went on stage and began to chop off each others' hair. "The message some were trying to push," she lamented, "was that to be a liberated woman you had to make yourself ugly, to stop shaving under your arms, to stop wearing makeup or pretty dresses--any skirts at all." (54) The implication of Friedan's horror over "ugly" feminists without long hair, makeup, or dresses was that being attractive was part of a feminine identity and that "ugly" women's liberationists were therefore unfeminine. Friedan's fears of "unfeminine" feminists were undoubtedly related to her initial stance that lesbian members were a liability for NOW and the women's movement. (55) Long-held medical and cultural beliefs that lesbians were gender deviants, men trapped in women's bodies, or unnaturally "masculine" women continued to shape the public image of lesbianism in the 1960s and 1970s. (56) Women's liberationists parading around in men's jeans and work shirts, boots, and short hair would exacerbate the belief that all feminists were not only lesbians but gender deviants as well.

Self-fashioning styles also became implicated in ongoing discussions of racial and class politics within feminist groups. Many working-class women and women of color felt alienated from NOW and women's liberation groups in the 1960s and 1970s, claiming that the predominantly white, upper-class leadership ignored concerns of race and class. (57) As a result feminists often vied over which types of strategies and groups were most inclusive of working-class and minority women. Some feminists argued that eschewing feminine styles allowed them to express solidarity with working-class women who needed to wear androgynous clothes to blend into predominantly male workplaces like factories. If "cheap, simple work-shirts ... are good enough for the oppressed working class of this country, they're good enough for me," one lesbian feminist wrote. (58) But other feminists argued that androgynous dress excluded working-class women who, as Robin Morgan put it, were "forced to wear [women's dresses] for survival." (59) "Women who work must continue to dress traditionally," one women's liberationist acknowledged. "Secretaries cannot go to work in bluejeans or slacks without arousing hostility and often dismissal. Waitresses, restaurant hostesses, airline stewardesses have to wear uniforms which are sometimes degrading and submit to personal appearance checks whereby gaining or losing a pound can sometimes mean their job." (60) Nontraditional dress, this feminist argued, was simply not an option for many working women. Other feminists, however, noted that the upkeep of a traditionally feminine appearance was expensive and thus prohibitive for those same women. "Androgyny isn't a luxury of the middle class; femininity is," one feminist wrote. (61)

Other women chafed at cultural assumptions that ascribed unfeminine identities to working-class or minority women. One woman of color complained that "Third World lesbians" were often ascribed a "butch" role by white lesbians due to racist assumptions about the "animalistic," "unusually strong," and "unfeminine" nature of nonwhite women. (62) Similarly, one black lesbian argued that wearing dresses and makeup was part of her quest for respectability in a society that consistently made her feel inferior due to her race. Wearing a dress simply made her feel good and empowered, she explained, in a society that often made her feel like "black trash." (63) Of course many nonwhite, working-class lesbians found comfort in more masculine styles of dress, which facilitated working in blue-collar jobs traditionally reserved for men. (64) But other feminists of color felt excluded by the pressures they felt to eschew traditionally feminine dress. When one Latina attended her first women's lib meeting dressed in her finest clothes, with makeup and jewelry, the other attendees told her that she looked like a whore. (65)

Especially for black women the racial politics of self-presentation made gender presentation a particularly sensitive issue. "Natural" or Afro hairstyles were a hallmark of the Black Power movement in the latter half of the 1960s, and for a short time they became a popular style among African Americans more broadly. But for some women the Afro presented an uncomfortable challenge to normative definitions of feminine self-presentation. Ebony's 1966 article on the increasing popularity of Afros among activist women made this concern clear: "Like all women, those who wear naturals ... recognize that short hair might detract from their femininity." (66) In 1968 the Washington Post discussed the problem of African American women attempting to wear their hair "natural" but still wanting to look "feminine": "No reason [for adopting the Afro] was usually deep enough to prevent the shock of the rather masculine new image in the barber's mirror," the article lamented. Women with natural hair, they claimed, needed to wear large earrings and makeup and avoid wearing pants in order to not be confused with men. (67) Afro hairstyles thus seemed for some to blur the lines between masculine and feminine self-presentation. Commenting on the natural hairstyles featured in the 1966 issue of Ebony, one letter to the editor declared: "When I got my June, 1966 EBONY and saw the picture on the cover, I thought it was a man. When I found out it was a woman and looked inside and saw all those kinky heads, I just tore the cover off my book. I could not look at it." (68)

Some black activists, of course, used the Afro to redefine what natural beauty and femininity ought to mean for African American women. "Today the black woman is seeing the beauty that lies within herself," wrote one woman in the magazine of the Black Panthers, one of the most famous Black Power organizations. "The natural beauty of her mind, hair and body. It is as though a seed has been planted and is in the first stages of growth." (69) These black activists used the Afro as a symbol of black women's "natural" beauty, freed from cultural expectations that required women to straighten their hair as a sign of femininity. The Black Panthers' magazine featured photographs of black women with large Afros, with the captions "Black and Beautiful" proclaiming their beauty and, implicitly, their femininity. (70) This redefinition of feminine beauty was adopted by some number of black feminists as well. Michelle Wallace, for example, recounted her struggles with "white" definitions of feminine beauty and shed her "makeup, high heels, stockings, garter belts, girdles," along with her pressed hair, as she discovered for herself a black feminist politics of style. (71)

But for a number of black women Afro hairstyles were rejected as a threat to feminine beauty. "I think it's time the black woman started pressing her hair again and even buying an assortment of wigs to keep her looking sweet, delicious, desirable and feminine," wrote one woman in Ebony. "Disagree all you want, but think. The men look great and masculine in their Afro hair styles--our women look great and masculine, too." (72) Even at the height of the Afro's popularity in the late 19605 advertisements for hair-straightening products persisted in black magazines, and many women continued to straighten their hair. (73) As one woman explained upon giving up her Afro in 1975, "it just doesn't look feminine." (74) Scholars have thus argued that natural hairstyles did not retain their popularity past the 1960s mostly due to the waning of Black Power politics, but also for their implicit threats to norms of gender and "respectability." (75) In the context of these debates on the Afro, then, it made sense that some black women might be wary of the more explicit eschewal of traditional feminine self-presentation by some women's activists.

But a number of feminists of all classes and races, moreover, expressed discomfort with self-presentation styles that appeared too "unfeminine." They worried that androgynous dress merely replaced their feminine gender presentation with an equally oppressive masculine one. (76) "Perhaps I am in the minority," one lesbian wrote, "but those who advocate wearing men's clothes should remember the adage, 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.'" (77) Other lesbian feminists agreed that the androgynous "dyke" look was too dull, too conforming, but most of all too masculine for women. "I refuse to look to the dull dead male and his dull dead clothes for my inspiration," one woman wrote. "I'm a gay woman, free and beautiful to myself--I put bright new colors on my face and nails and body. ... I like long hair and makeup." (78) Beyond simply criticizing the conformity inherent in feminist self-fashioning, complaints of discomfort with androgynous dress also suggested that some women did not want to choose between "feminism" and a "feminine" identity--and that androgynous dress simply seemed too masculine for women. One woman complained of her feminist androgynous dress, "When someone mistakes me on the street for a boy, it freaks me out." (79)

Perhaps to downplay this discomfort, a number of feminists appropriated the language of choice in describing their self-presentation decisions. The concept of "choice" emerged early in second-wave feminist rhetoric; NOW'S statement of purpose, written in 1966, used the language of choice to defend its legislative goals for women, arguing that the laws and mores of contemporary society "prevent women from enjoying the equality of opportunity and freedom of choice which is their right, as individual Americans, and as human beings." (80) While NOW's statement of purpose focused on expanding career choices for women, the rhetoric of choice was most famously applied in the realm of reproductive rights, as women activists sought to nullify laws that restricted or outlawed abortion. (81) Shirley Chisholm, at the first press conference for the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) in 1969, succinctly stated that each woman deserved "to choose whether or not she will bear children." (82) By the mid-1970s the concept of "choice feminism" became a central tenet of liberal feminist leaders, claiming that "choice" was the basic goal of the women's movement. As Robert Self explains, "Their central claim was deceptively simple: women ought to be free to choose the content of their lives. Marriage and motherhood were choices. Women could choose to have careers or become homemakers." (83) Perhaps as a response to anti-feminist forces of the 1970s, women's activists maintained that allowing women broader choices in their lives--and not necessarily mandating a certain lifestyle for women--was the ultimate goal of feminist activism.

Feminist arguments that liberated women deserved a wider array of choices in their careers and family lives also became applied to the realms of dress and fashion. "Liberation" came not from the actual clothes a woman decided to wear, but from the knowledge that the choice was hers to make. Prescribed fashion choices "would simply be substituting one restriction for another," one women's liberationist complained in 1968. "The problem is not current fashion per se; it's the rigidity with which it is prescribed by the fashion industry. We are not liberated unless we can choose [our fashions] freely," she concluded. (84) "Play up the drag queen in you with a lavender ruffle, or censor that sensuous body in a pair of overalls," wrote a fashion columnist in one feminist periodical in 1972. "It's still a woman's prerogative to change her mind, and fashions this fall are swinging ... from the butch look to the femme and everything in between." (85) Women adopting the language of choice thus implied that they could reembrace traditional conceptions of femininity in their dress and hairstyles and still be liberated women. One feminist described her slow transformation away from jeans, work shirts, and boots, toward a more feminine style of dress: "I don't have to be a sex symbol or a male replica to wear clothing that is an extension of myself. I'm discovering colors and pants that fit my body and don't hide it ... some day I might even be comfortable in a dress," she concluded. (86) Another woman wrote of growing her hair long and stated, "I feel beautiful. I learned from this to make the choice to take back control of my own body." (87) "I am not masculine or feminine, or masculine and feminine; I am a person with myriad characteristics," wrote another feminist on her decision to reembrace traditional feminine clothing. "Now, at thirty-one, I wear jeans and yellow ruffled dresses, too." (88)

Some lesbian feminists also used this language of choice when dissenting from the dyke look. "Having long hair doesn't make one passive or 'femme" one lesbian feminist wrote, "it makes one a woman with long hair. ... I do not have to take on or adopt a certain way of dress, length of hair, style or approach in order to be validly me." (89) "I am a woman. I like being a woman, wearing clothes fanciful or fantastic, according to my caprice," another lesbian explained. "I do not wish to pontificate on how any of you should dress or behave; you do your thing but let me do mine." (90) Even NOW leaders adopted the language of choice when discussing the relationship between feminism and fashion. In 1973, for example, the Task Force on the Image of Women celebrated women's newfound choice as a triumph of feminism: "We have freed large numbers of women from the constraints of 'fashion,'" proclaimed a Task Force memo, as "more and more women are making a free choice of what to wear and how to look based on what is uniquely suited to their personal style and individual lives." (91)

Some African Americans also promoted "choice" in black female hairstyles as the true path to racial independence. As African American women began to choose from among an array of styles--braids, cornrows, straightened, or "mildly relaxed" hair--they also began to claim the importance of personal choice in deciding their hair fashions. (92) "The cool breezes of this season and the next bring with them a special message for the black woman," wrote one African American journalist. "Freedom--it says, do your natural thing, chocolate woman. Wear your hair in the style that's natural for you. Wear it long, short, or somewhere in between; wear it straight, curled, bushed or waved." (93) Just as white "fashion feminists" could "choose" their own style, African American women could now choose to wear their hair in different ways--straightened, braided, or natural--and it was the choice itself that offered them racial freedom and pride, rather than the particular style of the Afro. African American women could thus be racially liberated through "choice" without needing to potentially sacrifice their femininity by adopting a natural hairstyle.

The language of "choice" in dress, hairstyles, and fashion allowed feminists to incorporate a more diverse array of women and styles into the feminist politics of self-presentation. Yet some feminists complained that the concept of "choice" allowed women to return to traditional styles without fully realizing the political consequences. Heather Booth and Naomi Weisstein lamented the return of feminine fashions among women's liberationists: "Now, the con goes, a truly liberated woman can choose to do these things," they wrote. (94) Choosing feminine fashions, they suggested, was a form of false consciousness among women. "When a [woman] says, 'I think enough of myself to dress how I please,' I wonder, 'Is she really sure that she is dressing only how she pleases?" another feminist asked. "How can we be sure?" (95)

The politics of self-presentation thus created conflicts within the second-wave feminist movement, often dividing women along the lines of age, class, and race but also revealing differing concepts of femininity and womanhood among activists. Did women have to dress a certain way in order to be liberated? Was it possible to look "feminine" and still be a "feminist"? Did politicized self-presentation styles imitate masculinity and foster stereotypes of feminists as lesbians or enable a lifestyle free from societal expectations of gender? How did self-presentation politics affect the public image of the women's movement? Significantly, these questions were asked not only by members of women's groups but also by outside observers of the second-wave feminist movement. The different answers given to these questions shaped the ways in which the public perceived the meaning and goals of feminism.


In 1970 fashion designers introduced a new line of skirts for women ranging from midcalf to ankle lengths. These "midi" and "maxi" skirts were meant to replace "miniskirts" in women's wardrobes; designers touted the longer styles as a return to femininity and sensuality, spurning the hypersexualized miniskirt. But while some women in the 1970s embraced the midiskirt, many women rejected these longer-length skirts; they argued that the midi was a ploy by manufacturers to increase their profits by arbitrarily declaring the miniskirt to be out of style and forcing women to buy the midi as a replacement. Moreover, women complained that the longer-length skirts were "dowdy," "ugly," and old-fashioned. Women across the country formed protest groups against the midi, arguing that fashion designers were dictating to women rather than listening to their fashion desires. Skirt sales plummeted, and clothing boutiques quickly promised to bring back shorter skirts. By 1971 miniskirts were back in stores, to the delight of many female clients (and their male admirers). (96)

Journalists in 1970 portrayed the mini-midi controversy as emblematic of changes in women's consciousness due to women's liberation. Women, journalists claimed, were now too independent--too emancipated--to blindly follow the whims of fashion designers. Moreover, women's rejection of the midi in favor of miniskirts implicitly illustrated a growing belief that women ought to be able to dress as they pleased, even if the fashions they picked emphasized their sexuality rather than their feminine virtue. (97) Just as women deserved to choose their own careers and--in the context of the sexual revolution--their own sexual partners, they also deserved to be able to choose their mode of dress. (98) The midi-miniskirt controversy thus illustrated how the feminist concept of choice--in particular the idea that women had the right to choose their styles of dress--began to gain some mainstream acceptance in the 19705.

Growing acceptance of women's pantsuits signaled an even more significant change. Fashion designers had promoted pantsuits for women as business and evening wear in the 1960s, but the styles were initially controversial. As pantsuits became increasingly popular among American women by the 19705, women themselves began to fight various social establishments that restricted the style. Female employees petitioned their employers to change dress codes that required women to wear skirts, and female high school students protested school dress codes that forbade pants and blue jeans. (99) Women also protested restaurants and other establishments that restricted women's attire. (100) Some women even filed lawsuits arguing that employers who did not allow women to wear pants, but allowed men to do so, violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed sex discrimination in employment. (101) As a result many of these institutions began to change. School districts that had previously forbidden female students from wearing pants or jeans began to modify their dress codes, allowing pants to be worn as everyday school attire. (102) Formal restaurants began to allow women in pantsuits, and many employers deemed pantsuits and even miniskirts to be acceptable office attire. (103) Airlines began to allow female flight attendants to wear pantsuits as part of their uniforms. (104)

Many of the women who fought to wear pants in their workplaces and schools had no official affiliation with women's liberation organizations or NOW--they were simply trying to dress as they wished. But newspapers and magazines often portrayed the growing popularity of pantsuits and miniskirts as indications of the spread of feminist values among "mainstream" American women. Syndicated columnist Art Seidenbaum argued that pants-wearing women were not the "karate choppers or even dues-paying members of the movement: but that their adoption of pants was evidence that they "hear[d] militant complaints loud and clear" and agreed with some of the tenets of feminist politics. (105) Some women concurred with this assessment, linking their choice to wear pants (or battles with employers to do so) to their growing awareness of the need for women to assert their right to dress as they wished. (106) As one pantsuit wearer, Mrs. Olin Wellborn III, told the Los Angeles Times, "I stand for freedom of choice." (107) Another supporter of "freedom of choice" in dress, seventy-year-old Mrs. Harold M. Stern, sent money to one of the antimidi protest groups "with a note that she wants to help them defend the right of American girls to dress as they please."(108) Even some fashion designers recognized the broader claims of these fashion battles: "It seems to me that your fight is more than just for length: on designer stated. "It's for a way of life. You want to be able to choose." (109) Growing societal acknowledgment of the right of women to wear pants or miniskirts illustrated how feminist concepts of choice--despite the controversial nature of the "choice" argument for women's abortion and reproductive rights--had in fact gained significant mainstream acceptance by the 1970s. Alongside increasing acceptance of a new range of choices for women in their work and personal lives, the right of women to choose their own styles of dress became commonly acknowledged.

But many journalists and pants-wearing women carefully distinguished wearing pants from feminism. While some women saw their dress styles as reflecting their adherence to the values of women's liberation, many women (and their media advocates) claimed that there was nothing political about the decision to wear pants. "Pants do not have to march militantly in a feminist parade to prove that they can stand on their own two feet," explained an article in the Los Angeles Times in 1970. (110) One twenty-three-year-old engineer wore pants and cut her hair short to make herself comfortable as she biked to work but explained that her style had nothing to do with women's liberation "because I already feel liberated." (111)

Moreover, some women and journalists maintained that the decision to wear pantsuits did not mean that they would forever eschew skirts or traditional feminine attire. Indeed, the mini-midi controversy and subsequent return of miniskirts to the racks of fashion retailers revealed that many American women were not planning to give up skirts anytime soon. "The Spring '71 woman," according to the Los Angeles Times, wore pants, skirts and jeans freely as part of her "new picture of femininity." (112) Women adopted pantsuits alongside skirts and dresses in their wardrobes; "I want clothes that are understated and classic without being masculine," one woman explained. (113) These "fashion feminists," as some journalists labeled them, stood up for "choice" in women's clothing within the confines of a feminine identity that was not overtly political. "The 1971 Fashion Feminist suits herself in many individual ways," described the Philadelphia Tribune. "She is free to select pantsuits with any of the new and exciting pants looks" or "skirts that move with the rhythm of the body." (114) "All-in-all, the fashion feminist goes her own way," stated an article in the Los Angeles Times. "She uses her own special style to give her clothes meaning. She's all woman." (115) "Fashion feminists" could choose to wear pants or skirts but never gave up their feminine identities--in other words, they could be "liberated" but still be "women."

The concept of pants as an "option" alongside dresses and skirts stood in stark contrast to media portrayals of feminists who allegedly only wore pants and rejected all forms of feminine attire. Indeed, a number of journalists in the 1970s began to criticize the feminist movement's alleged assault on female identity, with feminist dress and gender presentation playing a central role in their critiques. One female author in the San Francisco Examiner decried that women's liberationists had "lost their femininity ... by devoting so much time to defeminizing women, denouncing cosmetics, pretty clothes." (116) An author in Playboy in 1970 similarly derided feminists for their "rejection of distinctly feminine clothing and of the pursuit of beauty." His main example of feminist extremism, pointedly, was the hair-cutting at the 1969 Congress to Unite Women. (117) A female author in Esquire was even more vicious. "Demands for equal political and legal rights, for child-care centers and equal pay for equal work are reasonable enough," the author wrote, "but these have been submerged in a hair-raising emotional orgy ... directed at love, marriage, children, the home ... the penis, the pill, false eyelashes, brassieres, Barbie dolls." The author particularly derided feminist rejections of makeup and beauty culture: "Women enjoy using makeup, trying out new kinds, playing around with it," she claimed, "primarily to make themselves desirable to men (a goal which is anathema to Lib members) and, secondarily, for the sheer pleasure of self-adornment." Women who did not care about looking good, either for themselves or for men, were missing an essential component of womanhood, she concluded: "These are not normal women. I think they are freaks." (118)

These journalists were not alone in equating feminism with being "unfeminine." Some American women, influenced by these media images, expressed discomfort with the women's movement not because they disagreed with its legislative goals but because they believed that women's liberation meant renouncing womanhood and femininity. An informal poll conducted by the San Francisco Chronicle in 1970 asked a group of women whether or not they planned to join the women's liberation movement; they all said no. "Independence is very important to me but I think you can be independent without losing your femininity," one woman explained. Another woman said, "No. I don't want to be the same as men." "No. I like being a girl," another woman echoed. "If all women wanted to be the same as men, women would become masculine and men would become feminine," a fourth woman concluded. (119) Opinion polls in the 1970s came to similar conclusions, finding that the majority of American women "favor efforts to improve women's status" but were still "unsympathetic to women's liberation groups" and found the actions of activists to be "unwomanly." (120)

These surveys suggest that a significant number of women perceived the feminist movement to be rejecting femininity altogether--an identity that for many women reflected their important and real differences from men. While many women might have agreed with the tenet that they had the right to choose what they wore--dresses or skirts, makeup or none, short hair or long--feminists who seemed to eschew traditional feminine dress entirely also seemed to reject the notion that they were different from men. But if men and women were innately different in some ways, as many women believed, ought they not look different in some ways as well? For these women feminist criticisms of female beauty culture and adoption of androgynous dress symbolized a rejection of femininity in which they had no interest. While women might deserve equality under the law and choices in their work and personal lives, they were still different from men.

It was this fear of feminism erasing gender differences entirely that anti-feminists used in their successful fight against the Equal Rights Amendment. Led by Phyllis Schlafly and other groups aligned with the growing conservative New Right, antifeminist women and men waged a campaign against the ERA, which had become the leading legislative goal of NOW and other women's rights organizations in the 1970s. Although the ERA, which stated simply that "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex," was originally introduced to Congress in the 1920s, it was not until 1972 that both houses of Congress, after intense lobbying by NOW, passed the amendment. Within a year thirty states had approved the ERA, and the amendment seemed destined for ratification. But a number of grassroots organizations, most famously Phyllis Schlafly's STOP ERA, mounted campaigns against the amendment that halted its further ratification; even a three-year extension by Congress in 1979 failed to make any gains for the amendment at the state level. By 1982 the amendment was dead. (121)

Schlafly and other grassroots activists against the amendment staked their arguments on the notion that the ERA would "promote a 'gender-free,' unisex society"--significantly, borrowing one of the phrases used to describe the gender-bending styles of feminists in the 1960s. (122) Activists argued that the ERA would eliminate sex-segregated bathrooms, legalize same-sex marriage, and--particularly poignant in the Vietnam War era--force the government to include women in the draft. Implicit in their concept of feminism, then, was the notion that feminist laws erased gender distinctions that antifeminists believed were important and real differences between men and women. "I am absolutely certain that a major motive force behind the feminist movement is a search for an identity and role which permits them to live out a pseudomale identity," wrote one ERA opponent, implying that feminists really wanted to be men. (123)

Traditionally feminine gender presentation was a significant, though rarely explicitly discussed, aspect of antifeminists' lobbying strategies. Recognizing that "looking feminine is important" to defeat the ERA, Schlafly instructed anti-ERA activists to wear dresses and makeup when they went to their state capitols. (124) Other groups of anti-ERA activists became known as the "Pink Ladies" for the pink dresses they wore when lobbying.12 These strategies of dress and gender presentation, along with the home-baked cookies and pies that these women often brought with them to give to state legislators, provided symbolic reminders that anti-ERA women were real women--and implied that feminists, with their antimarriage, antichildren, and anti-feminine-dress stances, might not be.

The specific focus on dress and hairstyles among antifeminists and anti-ERA activists suggests that some of the backlash against feminism in the 1970s was fostered by the cultural politics of women's liberation just as much as by the political goals of feminist activism. While many women and men expressed agreement with the concepts of legal equality for the sexes and choice in women's lives, feminist activism that seemed to ignore differences between men and women--including androgynous dress styles that obscured gender distinctions--seemed to push feminist reasoning too far for some would-be supporters of the movement. "Millions of Americans ... deplore the practice of paying women less just because they are women, or denying women equal rights to the ownership and disposition of property," wrote one ERA supporter in 1973. "But what has the urgent need to erase these discriminations got to do with whether women wear bras?" (126) Legal equality between men and women, in other words, seemed reasonable to many Americans, but cultural challenges to gender differences seemed to take the principles of feminism too far. Capitalizing on these doubts, antifeminist activists argued that the ERA would do more than merely guarantee women equal rights; rather, they argued, the amendment would erase gender distinctions entirely. The traditionally feminine dress styles of anti-ERA lobbyists, alongside public derision of feminist androgyny, provided subtle reminders of the concepts of womanhood that antifeminists believed were at stake. Self-presentation thus became a symbol of deeper cultural debates over the meaning of feminism and its challenges to traditional womanhood.

It is ironic that new styles of dress for women (such as pantsuits) gained popularity and mainstream acceptance at the same time that antifeminists raised doubts about them. The difference, however, was one of interpretation. The broader public often conceptualized popular styles such as pantsuits and miniskirts as "choices" for women. This rationale did not go beyond the liberal consensus that women deserved equal legal rights to challenge deeper concepts of gender difference. Pants and miniskirts were options for women alongside dresses and makeup, and it was the choice itself that allowed women to be liberated. In comparison some women's liberationists explicitly connected their gender-bending styles to a politics that challenged gender norms that they believed were socially constructed. For these women's liberationists the erasure of gender distinctions might have been seen as a positive development. But for other observers these politicized self-presentations seemed to reject the concept that women and men were different in some ways--a belief they held dear. Feminists engaged in the politics of self-presentation thus tapped into social anxieties about the fate of gender differences when women became "liberated" from traditional gender norms. For these observers fears that becoming a feminist meant giving up one's female identity, symbolized by the androgynous dress of some feminists, took the principles of women's liberation too far.


These debates over the meaning of particular styles of gender presentation--among the media and "fashion feminists," among women's liberationists and lesbian feminists, among middle-class and working-class feminists and women of color, and among antifeminist lobbyists against the ERA--illustrate how the politics of gender presentation, for both its advocates and its dissenters, implicated deeper questions about femininity and womanhood in the context of feminist activism of the 1960s and 1970s. For some women new styles of self-presentation eschewed patriarchal definitions of femininity and created a new model of liberated womanhood, in which women could claim freedom of choice of in their dress. For others shedding traditional feminine dress and hairstyles suggested a form of womanhood at odds with their cultural conception of gender. For these individuals the politics of gender presentation signaled that feminists sought to erase gender differences between the sexes that were widely considered to be real and important. What was liberating for some women--to declare one's lesbianism, to eschew marriage, to choose to end a pregnancy, or to cut one's hair--was for other women an abhorrent rejection of their personal conception of womanhood. Debates over the politics of self-presentation thus reflected deep disagreements both inside and outside of feminism on the central question of what it meant to be a woman in the era of women's liberation.

These debates continue today, whether in media discussions of Hillary Clinton's pantsuits and Sarah Palin's "fashionable" styles and high heels during the 2008 presidential campaign or in critiques of the popular television show Toddlers & Tiaras. Despite the legal and cultural gains of the second-wave feminist movement--including the acceptance of women in the workforce, as athletes, and as political leaders--for some Americans the assumption still remains that to be a feminist means giving up one's femininity. And dress remains a potent symbol of the challenges that feminists face. Even as two women seriously contended for the highest political offices in the United States, their choices of dress were scrutinized and politicized as signs of their femininity and allegiance to feminism. (127) The current incarnation of "third-wave" feminism, and the emphasis on feminine dress for some of its participants, highlights the ways that self-identifying feminists continue to debate the implications of self-presentation styles. Not unlike second-wave feminists who championed women's "choices" in self-fashioning, third-wavers argue that women can adopt traditional feminine accouterments such as makeup and jewelry and appropriate these as signs of their personal independence and sexual freedom, arguing that women's liberation is strengthened when women can reclaim femininity as part of their individuality. (128) The fashion politics of third-wave feminists highlights how choices in self-fashioning remain a politicized and contentious issue among feminists and women into the twenty-first century. This article has demonstrated one of the origins of these modern debates--the self-presentation politics of the second wave of feminism and their implications for broader understandings of gender. These debates did not end in the 1960s or 1970s and continue to shape the world that second-wave feminism has made.


My sincerest thanks to Joanne Meyerowitz, Katherine Turk, Deborah Dinner, Matthew Jacobson, Susan Ware, Judy Wu, Benjamin Siracusa Hillman, anonymous readers for this and other journals, and many colleagues and students who have offered advice and shaped my thoughts on this article. I dedicate this article to my daughter, Johanna, who I hope will always "self-present" exactly how she wishes.


(1.) "Notes on Cutting My Hair," Ain't I a Woman? 1, no. 11 (Jan. 29, 1971): 2.

(2.) On feminist critiques of beauty culture see Beth Kreydatus, "Marketing to the 'Liberated' Woman: Feminism, Social Change, and Beauty Culture" (PhD diss., College of William and Mary, 2005); Linda M. Scott, Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2005). On the 1968 protest of Miss America see Dorothy Sue Cobble, The Other Women's Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), 180; Alice Echols, Daring to Be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967-1975 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989), 92-101; Ruth Rosen, The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America (New York: Viking, 2000), 160.

(3.) Scholars who discuss the politics of hairstyles and dress among 19605 social activists include Gad Graham, "Flaunting the Freak Flag: Karr v. Schmidt and the Great Hair Debate in American High Schools, 1965-19757 Journal of American History 91, no. 2 (Sept. 2004): 522-43; William L. Van Deburg, A New Day in Babylon: The Black Power Movement in American Culture, 1965-1975 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 197-201; Maxine Leeds Craig, Ain't I a Beauty Queen? Black Women, Beauty, and the Politics of Race (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002); Todd Gitlin, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage (New York: Bantham Books, 1993), 216; Terry Anderson, The Movement and the Sixties (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995); Timothy Miller, The Hippies and American Values (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1991), 116-17.

(4.) See Cobble, Other Women's Movement, 180; Echols, Daring to Be Bad, 92-101; Rosen, World Split Open, 160.

(5.) New York Radical Women, "No More Miss America" (1968), reprinted in Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women's Liberation Movement, ed. Rosalyn Baxandall and Linda Gordon (New York: Basic Books, 2000), 184-85.

(6.) Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique (New York: Norton, 1963); for a discussion of women's reactions to Friedan's book see Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War (New York: Basic Books, 1988), chap. 9.

(7.) Cobble, Other Women's Movement, chap. 7; Cynthia Harrison, On Account of Sex: The Politics of Women's Issues, 1945-1968 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), chap. 10; Rosen, World Split Open, chap. 3.

(8.) Jo Freeman, "How 'Sex' Got into Title VII: Persistent Opportunism as a Maker of Public Policy," Law and Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice 9, no. 2 (Mar. 1991): 163-84.

(9.) Alice Kessler-Harris, In Pursuit of Equity: Women, Men, and the Quest for Economic Citizenship in 20th-Century America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), chap. 6.

(10.) Nancy Hewitt has offered an important critique of the "wave" metaphor in describing the history of feminist activism, stressing continuities in feminist thought and action rather than dividing feminist history into distinct waves or periods. See Nancy A. Hewitt, ed., No Permanent Waves: Recasting Histories of U.S. Feminism (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2010).

(11.) Women, of course, did not themselves divide as neatly as these labels suggest; for example, many women were members of both their local NOW chapters and other women's liberation groups. In general I use the term women's liberationist to describe younger women who joined feminist activism based on their experiences in other leftist and radical movements of the 1960s and the term women's activist to describe women who participated in organizations like NOW that focused on legislative and legal change.

(12.) See Sara Evans, Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left (New York: Vintage Books, 1979); Echols, Daring to Be Bad, chaps. 1-2.

(13.) Una Stannard, "If the Shoe Pinches," Everywoman 2, no. 12 (Aug. 12, 1971): n.p.; "What the Hippies Gave to Us," San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Punch, Dec. 22, 1968, 8; "Short Trips," Haight-Ashbury Maverick 1, no. 4 (1967): 2. See also Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo, Daughters of Aquarius: Women of the Sixties Counterculture (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2009), 72.

(14.) "Hairy Women Protest Fairy Queen," Rag 2, no. 39 (Sept. 23, 1968): 8.

(15.) Evans, Personal Politics; Doug Rossinow, "The Revolution Is about Our Lives: The New Left's Counterculture," in Imagine Nation: The American Counterculture of the 1960s and '70s, ed. Peter Braunstein and Michael William Doyle (New York: Routledge, 2002).

(16.) Many of these essays have been reprinted in Baxandall and Gordon, Dear Sisters.

(17.) Julie Coryell, "What's In a Name?" reprinted in Baxandall and Gordon, Dear Sisters, 216.

(18.) "What Is the Difference? Women's Rights and Women's Liberation," reel 2, folder 12B (position papers, n.d.), Female Liberation: A Radical Feminist Organization Records, 1968-74 (part of Grassroots Feminist Organizations, Part 1: Boston Area Second Wave Organizations, 1968-98), Gale Cengage Primary Source Microfilm Collection.

(19.) Maureen Davidica, "Women and the Radical Movement," No More Fun and Games: A Journal of Female Liberation, no. 1 (1968), reel 1, folder 3B, Female Liberation, Gale Cengage Primary Source Microfilm Collection.

(20.) Evans, Personal Politics, 192; Echols, Daring to Be Bad, 45.

(21.) Lynn Piartney, "A Letter to the Editor of Ramparts Magazine," in Notes from the First Year (June 1968): n.p,

(22.) Evans, Personal Politics; Echols, Daring to Be Bad, chaps. 1-2; Rosen, World Split Open, chap. 4.

(23.) Ellen Willis, "Women and the Myth of Consumerism" (1969), reprinted in Baxandall and Gordon, Dear Sisters, 288-90. See also "'Consumerism' and Women," folder: "Early Women's Liberation SF," Sally Gearhart Papers, GLBT Historical Society of Northern California (GLBTHS).

(24.) Kreydatus, "Marketing to the 'Liberated' Woman," 43-49.

(25.) "Truth and Beauty," A Change Is Gonna Come 1, no. 4 (Apr. 1971): 5.

(26.) "What the Well-Dressed Dyke will Wear" Cowrie 1, no. 5 (Feb. 1974), 21.

(27.) "Lesbian Feminist Declaration of 1976," reel 68, folder 06221, Lesbian Herstory Archives Subject Files (LHA), Thompson Gale Primary Source Microfilms.

(28.) One again these labels are imperfect; many lesbians were active in NOW chapters and in women's liberation organizations, as well as in separate groups for lesbians. In general I use the term lesbian feminist to describe women who identified as lesbians or who wrote in periodicals devoted to lesbian/feminist issues. On the growth of lesbian feminism and divisions between lesbian and straight women see Echols, Daring to Be Bad, chap. 5; Karla Jay, Tales of the Lavender Menace: A Memoir of Liberation (New York: Basic Books, 1999); Arlene Stein, Sex and Sensibility: Stories of a Lesbian Generation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997); Jane Gerhard, Desiring Revolution: Second Wave Feminism and the Rewriting of American Sexual Thought, 1920 to 1982 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2001), chaps. 3 and 5.

(29.) Radicalesbians, "The Woman-Identified Woman," Come Out! 1, no. 4 (June-July 1970): 12-13.

(30.) Sally Gearhart, "Lesbianism as a Political Statement," Sisters 1, no. 2 (Dec. 1970): 1.

(31.) See Margaret Mead, Male and Female: A Study of the Sexes in a Changing World (New York: William Morrow, 1949); John Money, Joan G. Hampson, and John L. Hampson, "Hermaphroditism: Recommendations Concerning Assignment of Sex, Change of Sex, and Psychologic Management," Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital 97 (1955): 285. See also Joanne Meyerowitz, How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002), chap. 3.

(32.) Feminists prior to the 19605 had already begun rejecting the "biology is destiny" paradigm, most notably French feminist Simone de Beauvoir, in The Second Sex, trans. H. M. Parshley (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952). However, feminists in the 1970s would occasionally cite doctors and psychologists for evidence that gender was created not by biology but by culture. See Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (New York: Doubleday and Company, 1970), 30-31; Rayna Reiter, "Introduction," in Towards an Anthropology of Women (New York and London: Monthly Review Press, 1975).

(33.) Jo Freeman, "Women's Liberation Front," reprinted from the Moderator, Nov. 1968, folder: "Early Women's Liberation SF," Gearhart Papers.

(34.) Stannard, "If the Shoe Pinches," n.p.; "Stamp Out High Heels," reprinted in Baxandall and Gordon, Dear Sisters, 40; "Make-Up Slave," A Change Is Gonna Come 1, no. 2 (Feb. 1971): 2; Lynn O'Conner, "Male Supremacy," folder: "Early Women's Liberation SF," Gearhart Papers; Sharon Zecha, "Being a Real Woman," Born a Woman, no. 1 (Fall-Winter 1971): 31.

(35.) Coletta Reid, "Coming Out in the Women's Movement," in Lesbianism and the Women's Movement, ed. Nancy Myron and Charlotte Bunch (Baltimore: Diana Press, 1975), 99-100.

(36.) "What Every Young Girl Should Ask!" reel 68, folder 06221, LHA.

(37.) Stannard, "If the Shoe Pinches," n.p.; "Stamp Out High Heels," 40; "Make-Up Slave," 2; O'Conner, "Male Supremacy"; Una Stannard, "Clothing and Sexuality," Everywoman 2, no. 13 (Sept. 10, 1971), 6.

(38.) "What the Well-Dressed Dyke Will Wear," 4. See also "Well-Trained Hair," Lavender Woman 4, no. 1 (Feb. 1975): 8.

(39.) Zecha, "Being a Real Woman," 31.

(40.) Joan Casse11, A Group Called Women: Sisterhood and Symbolism in the Feminist Movement (New York: David McKay Company, 1977), chap. 6. On the concept of androgyny in feminism see Carolyn G. Heilbrun, Toward a Recognition of Androgyny (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1973).

(41.) Ellen Cantarow, "Some Autobiographical Reflections; or, A Case In Point," Female Liberation Newsletter 1, no. 1 (1969): 2, reel 1, folder 20A, Female Liberation, Gale Cengage Primary Source Microfilm Collection.

(42.) On the growing popularity of unisex fashions in the late 1960s and early 1970s see "If a Fashion's Good Enough for Her, It's Good Enough for Him," New York Times, Jan. 6,1968; "Uniworld of His and Hers," LIFE, June 21, 1968, 86-90.

(43.) Lydia Darnell, "Unisex Fashions and Equality," Chicago Tribune, June 13, 1972.

(44.) "Make a Ladder of Your Hair, Rapunzel," Free Press Underground 3, no. 3 (Mar. 1968): 4.

(45.) "dyke image," Dykes and Gorgons 1, no. 1 (May-June 1973): 4.

(46.) "A Feminist Perspective: Dyke and Proud," Advocate, no. 171 (Aug. 27, 1975), 32.

(47.) "What the Well-Dressed Dyke Will Wear," 6.

(48.) "Are Blue Jeans Mandatory?" San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle, May 3, 1970,18, box 169, folder 8, Martin/Lyon Papers, GLBTHS.

(49.) See, for examples, Una Stannard, "Editorial: Beauty Is a Beast," SF NOW News, Mar. 1970, n.p.; "Feminists View the Fashion Scene," SF NOW Newsletter 1, no. 6 (May 15, 1970): 12, box 60, older 13, Martin/Lyon Papers.

(50.) Cassell, Group Called Women, 85.

(51.) Unsigned letter to Aileen Hernandez, Mar. 23, 1971, box 47, folder 12, series XIII, NOW Records, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

(52.) Scott, Fresh Lipstick, 285.

(53.) NOW New York, press release, Mar. 29, 1967, and "Announcement of Press Conference and Request for Coverage," June 12, 1967, both box 48, folder 29, series XIII, NOW Records.

(54.) Betty Friedan, It Changed My Life: Writings on the Women's Movement (New York: Random House, 1976), 173 (emphasis in original). See also Rosen, World Split Open, 86-87; Kreydatus, "Marketing to the 'Liberated' Woman," 48.

(55.) Rosen, World Split Open, 83; Echols, Daring to Be Bad, chap. 5; Jay, Tales of the Lavender Menace.

(56.) See George Chauncey, "From Sexual Inversion to Homosexuality: The Changing Medical Conceptualization of Female 'Deviance,'" reprinted in Passion and Power: Sexuality in History, ed. Kathy Peiss and Christina Simmons (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989), 87-117; Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, "The New Woman as Androgyne: Social Disorder and the Gender Crisis, 1870-1936," in Disorderly Conduct: Visions of Gender in Victorian America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985); Esther Newton, "The Mythic Mannish Lesbian: Radclyffe Hall and the New Woman," Signs 9, no. 4 (Summer 1984): 557-75.

(57.) Echols, Daring to Be Bad, chap. 5; Winifred Breines, The Trouble between Us: An Uneasy History of White and Black Women in the Feminist Movement (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

(58.) "Rita Right on Radical Fashion," Lesbian Tide 2, no. 7 (Feb. 1973): 11.

(59.) Robin Morgan, "Lesbianism and Feminism: Synonyms or Contradictions?" Second Wave 2, no. 4 (1973): 19.

(60.) Nancy Williamson, "The Case for Studied Ugliness," Second Wave: A Magazine of the New Feminism 1, no. 1 (Spring 1971): 10.

(61.) "The Controversy over 'Androgyny,'" Women: A Journal of Liberation 4, no. 1 (Winter 1974): 58-59.

(62.) "Butch or Fern? The Third World Lesbian's Dilemma," Coming Out Rage (May 1973): 11.

(63.) Quoted in Anne Enke, Finding the Movement: Sexuality, Contested Space, and Feminist Activism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007), 55.

(64.) See Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline Davis, Boots of Leather; Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community (New York: Routledge, 1993).

(65.) Discussion with Marisela Chavez, Schlesinger Library Summer Seminar "Sequels to the 1960s," Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, June 2008.

(66.) "The Natural Look," Ebony, June 1966, 146; Susannah Walker, "Black Is Profitable: The Commodification of the Afro, 1960-1975," in Beauty and Business: Commerce, Gender, and Culture in Modern America, ed. Phillip Scranton (New York: Routledge, 2001), 270.

(67.) "The Afro: Black and Beautiful," Washington Post, Aug. 18, 1968.

(68.) "Letters to the Editor," Ebony, Aug. 1966, 12.

(69.) "Black Woman," Black Panther 2, no. 6 (Sept. 14, 1968): 6.

(70.) "Black and Beautiful," Black Panther 1, no. 5 (July 20, 1967): 15, 17, 18.

(71.) See Michele Wallace, "A Black Feminist's Search for Sisterhood," in All of the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Block Women's Studies, ed. Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott, and Barbara Smith (Old Westbury NY: Feminist Press, 1982).

(72.) "Letters to the Editor: 'Back to the Hot Comb,'" Ebony, Nov. 1969, 19. See also Craig, Ain't I a Beauty Queen? 125.

(73.) "Cosmetics for Blacks Reflect Growing Pride," Los Angeles Times, Dec. 27, 1970; "Civil Rights Enjoys Riches: Chicago Daily Defender, June 17, 1968; "The Afro and Its Meaning to the Black Beautician," New York Amsterdam News, July 5, 1969.

(74.) "Wear It Your Way," Chicago Defender, Apr. 5, 1975, 11.

(75.) Craig, Ain't I a Beauty Queen?

(76.) "Are Blue Jeans Mandatory?"

(77.) "Letters," Cowrie 2, no. 1 (Apr. 1974): 7.

(78.) "Letters," Cowrie 1, no. 5 (Feb. 1974): 11.

(79.) "Our Own Feelings about Androgyny: Women: A Journal of Liberation 4, no. (Winter 1974): 32-33.

(80.) National Organization for Women, Statement of Purpose, 1966,

(81.) Robert 0. Self, All in the Family: The Realignment of American Democracy since the 1960s (New York: Hill and Wang, 2012), 135.

(82.) Self, All in the Family, 147.

(83.) Self, All in the Family, 329. This concept of "choice feminism" has become contentious in recent years, as some critics argue that maintaining normative choices for women serves to reify traditional gender roles. See Patricia Cohen, "Today, Some Feminists Hate the Word 'Choice,'" New York Times, Jan. 15, 2006,

(84.) "Letters," Voice of the Women's Liberation 1, no, 4 (Oct. 1968): 11.

(85.) "On the Yin Side: Fall Fashions for Feminists," Second Wave 2, no. 2 (1972): 45.

(86.) [No title], Women: A Journal of Liberation 4, no. 1 (Winter 1974): 24.

(87.) "Being a Long-Haired Dyke," reel 62, folder 05720, LHA.

(88.) "Our Own Feelings about Androgyny," 32-33.

(89.) "Herstory," Lesbian Tide, Oct. 1971, 8.

(90.) "One Dyke's Declaration of Independence," Lesbian Connection 2, no. 2 (May 1976): 3.

(91.) Image of Task Force News, memo, July 1973, box 30, folder 65, series VIII, NOW Records.

(92.) "Beyond the Afro: Baldness and Braids," Washington Post, Aug. 8, 1971; "Braids 'In' This Season," Los Angeles Sentinel, Mar. 8, 1973; "Bushes and Braids," Chicago Defender, Aug. 21, 1973; "All Hair Is Good Hair," New Pittsburgh Courier, Feb. 3, 1973; "Natural Afro Losing Its Frizz as Relaxed Hair Comes Back," Los Angeles Times, Oct. 27, 1972; "Wear It Your Way"; "Black Women Prefer Own Look," Los Angeles Sentinel, Oct. 9, 1975.

(93.) "Personal Touches." Baltimore Afro-American, Oct. 11, 1975.

(94.) Naomi Weisstein and Heather Booth, "Will the Women's Movement Survive?" Sister 4, no. 12 (Dec. 1975): insert, p. 2.

(95.) "Letters," Cowrie 2, no. 2 (June/July 1974): 16-17.

(96.) " ... Or You Belong to One of the Protest Groups," New York Times, Sept. 25, 1970. See also "Say Goodbye to Short Skirts," Hartford Courant, Feb. 1, 1970; "Dissenters Day 'POOFF' to Style World," Los Angeles Times, Mar. 2, 1970; "No Shortage of Long Skirt Foes: Los Angeles Tunes, Mar. 9, 1970; The Battle of the Hemline," Newsweek, Mar. 16, 1970, 70; "Midis Inch toward Approval," Los Angeles Times, Mar. 16, 1970; "Dead Knees Displease," Los Angeles Times, Mar. 30, 1970; "Midis Bring Romance Back to Fashion's No-Man's-Land," Los Angeles Times, Apr. 5, 1970; "Designers' Sales Go Up as Hem Lines Fall," New York Times, June 1, 1970; "Buyers," Washington Post, Sept. 27, 1970; "Slaughter on 7th Avenue,'" Washington Post, Nov. 18, 1970; "The Midi Laid an Egg in 1970, but It Did Hatch Other Fashions," New York Times, Jan. 1, 1971; "Leggy Look OK for Job Seekers in L.A.," Los Angeles Times, Jan. 14, 1970; "Command Decisions in Favor of Pants," Business Week, Oct. 31, 1970, 20.

(97.) On notions of women's "virtue" see Nancy Cott, "Passionlessness: An Interpretation of Victorian Sexual Ideology, 1790-1850," Signs 4 (1978): 219-36.

(98.) On the sexual revolution see Beth Bailey, Sex in the Heartland (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999).

(99.) "Nurses Herald Pantsuit Arrival in Day," Los Angeles Times, June 18, 1970; "Seniors Strike for Miniskirts," Hartford Courant, Oct. 22, 1966; "We Want Pants!" Hysteria, no. 2 (Nov. 6, 1970): 7.

(l00.) "Women in Pants? No, Yes and Maybe," Hartford Courant, Jan. 27, 1969; Ellen Melinkoff, What We Wore: An Offbeat Social History of Women's Clothing, 1950 to 1980 (New York: Quill, 1984), 28-29.

(101.) Lanigan v. Bartlett and Company Grain, 466 F. Supp. 1388 (1979).

(102.) "Long Hair Gets OK after Indian Protest," Los Angeles Times, Nov. 23, 1972; "Embers 1970," Yearbook of Amity Regional High School, Woodbridge CT.

(103.) "Come in Pantsuit, Change to a Skirt," Hartford Courant, Aug. 8, 1970; "Pants: They're Going to Any Lengths," New York Times, Nov. 26, 1975; "Nurses Herald Pantsuit Arrival in Day"; "Labor Letter," Wall Street Journal, Oct. 6, 1970; "Fashion Shops Hold Breath as Skirt Lengths Slip Lower," Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 21, 1970; "On-the-Job Fashion Lib a Fringe Benefit," Los Angeles Times, Oct. 22, 1970; "Women's Wear Puzzles Investor," Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 31, 1970; "Command Decisions in Favor of Pants," 20; "Clotheslines: Jewelry Pulse Quickens on Heart," Los Angeles Times, Nov. 8, 1970; "Pantsuit to Get OK as Attire for Office," Los Angeles Times, Nov. 12, 1970.

(104.) "Pantsuits for Stewardesses," Los Angeles Times, Feb. 12, 1973; "Stewardesses Stay on Top of Styles," New York Amsterdam News, July 10, 1971; Eileen Boris, "Desirable Dress: Rosies, Sky Girls, and the Politics of Appearance," International Labor and Working-Class History 69 (2006): 123-42.

(105.) Art Seidenbaum, "Where Are the Girls?" Los Angeles Times, Apr. 25, 1972. See also "Women's Wear Puzzles Investor."

(106.) "Women's Lib Gets Members," Hartford Courant, Sept. 3, 1970; "American Image Los Angeles Times, Nov. 25,1973; "A Few Women Sizzle but Boycott Is Fizzle Chicago Tribune, Oct. 30, 1975; "Something New in the Women's Movement," New York Times, Dec. 12, 1973, 47.

(107.) "Midis Inch Toward Approval."

(108.) "No Shortage of Long Skirt Foes."

(109.) "No Shortage of Long Skirt Foes."

(110.) "Pantique No. 2," Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1970.

(111.) "Hot Pants Worn by Engineer," Hartford Courant, Sept. 1, 1971.

(112.) "Fashions," Los Angeles Times, Jan. 28, 1971.

(113.) "The Uniform Look of S.F.'s Female Executives," San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 20, 1978, box 169, folder 8, Martin/Lyon Papers.

(114.) "Accent on Fashion," Philadelphia Tribune, Jan. 26, 1971.

(115.) "Fashions."

(116.) Harriet Van Home, "Militants' Mistake," San Francisco Examiner, Aug. 23, 1970, box 169, folder 9, Martin/Lyon Papers.

(117.) Morton Hunt, "Up against the Wall, Male Chauvinist Pig!" Playboy, May 1970, 95, 206. See also Carrie Pitzulo. "The Battle in Every Man's Bed: Playboy and the Fiery Feminists," Journal of the History of Sexuality 17, no. 2 (May 2008): 259-89.

(118.) Helen Lawrenson, "The Feminine Mistake," Esquire, Jan. 1971, 83, 146-54.

(119.) "Question Man: Would You Join the Women's Liberation Movement?" San Francisco Chronicle, Apr. 17, 1970, box 169, folder 9, Martin/Lyon Papers.

(120.) "Harris Poll: A Look at the American Woman," San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 24, 1972, box 168, folder 10, Martin/Lyon Papers; "Women against Liberation," San Francisco Chronicle, May 25, 1971, box 169, folder 9, Martin/Lyon Papers.

(121.) See Donald Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005).

(122.) "The Pictures the Press Didn't Print," Phyllis Schlafly Report 9, no. 11, section 2 (June 1976): 1; "Why the Equal Rights Amendment Should Be Rejected," Phyllis Schlafly Report 10, no. 9, section 2 (Apr. 1977): 2.

(123.) "Why Women Should Not Serve in Military Combat," Phyllis Schlafly Report 13, no. 8, section 2 (Mar. 1980): 1-2.

(124.) Critchlow, Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism, 224-25, 229, 236.

(125.) "At War with the Pink Ladies," Mother Jones 2, no. 9 (Nov. 1977): 21-22.

(126.) "Libbers Talking Their Way into Trouble," Washington Evening Star and Daily News, Feb. 21, 1973, box 169, folder 9, Martin/Lyon Papers.

(127.) "Pants, Suitable," Buffalo News, Nov. 19, 2000, accessed through Lexis-Nexis; "Wearing the Pants: Envisioning a Female Commander-in-Chief," Washington Post, Dec. 9, 2007,; "Donatella Versace Tells Hillary Clinton to Take Her Pants Off," Stylelist, Feb. 8, 2007,; "Slacking Hillary," New York Sun, June 3, 2008, 8, accessed through Lexis-Nexis; "Column: Perceptions of Female Politicians Affected by Appearance," Daily Nebraskan, Sept. 17, 2008, accessed through Lexis-Nexis; "Sarah Palin Sexism Watch: Skirt-Wearing, SexyMom Edition,", Sept. 8, 2008,

(128.) On the "third wave" of feminism, see Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000).
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Date:May 1, 2013
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