Discussion questions and reflection. How/why did rape become a feminist issue in the 1970s? How does author Susan Brownmiller describe rape and her growing awareness of it as an issue of concern to all women? According to the 2015 New York Times review of Brownmiller’s landmark book Against Our Will (1975), what role does this book serve in history? What was important about it? What has changed since she wrote in 1975?
Women’s activism and taking matters into our own hands, through organizing rape crisis centers, rape hotlines, sexual assault awareness month, even an underground abortion network (“Jane”) — what strikes you about these efforts and the women who led them?
Discussion questions and reflection
A third related theme is the growing feminist (or women’s) health movement of the 1970s and beyond — this movement is often described as crystalizing with the publication of Our Bodies, Our Selves (1973) by the Boston Women’s Health Collective. What was/is so important about this book and its approach to women’s health? What is new and different about it? What has changed and what has not changed as a result of the women’s health movement?
Read Time review of Brownmiller: https://time.com/4062637/against-our-will-40/
Read: “How We Got Here: A History of Sexual Assault Awareness Month” https://www.nsvrc.org/blogs/how-we-got-here-history-sexual-assault-awareness-month
Read: History of Rape Crisis Movement: https://www.calcasa.org/2009/11/history-of-the-rape-crisis-movement/
Read: Code Name Jane: History of Underground Abortion Network https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/14/us/illegal-abortion-janes.html