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One hundred years ago American women fought for and won an equal voice at the ballot box with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. This happened thanks to the unrelenting activism of women in the US and around the rest of the world, who shifted the notion of women's suffrage from fringe idea to reality. Although that was a huge achievement, successive generations of global activists have had to combat enormous gaps in women's rights that have continued to exist today. The first of its kind, this fully illustrated history of women's rights offers a gripping account of the struggle for equality across the globe. In six chapters it covers issues that are critical to women everywhere: the right to vote, reproductive freedom, marital and property rights, workplace equality, oppressive notions of beauty, racial equality, and LGBTQ rights. 'Citizen Woman' takes readers across continents to compare and contrast how women are faring in different cultures and societies. Each chapter is generously illustrated with photographs, archival materials, and documents that provide rich context and helps readers connect deeply with the personal and historic achievements of the past and present. This satisfying and engrossing overview of the women's rights movement offers compelling proof that change is possible for every citizen of the world.
-- Women's Review of Books
There was a moment in the 1970s when sex was what mattered most to feminists. White middle-class women viewed sex as central to both their oppression and their liberation. Young women started to speak and write about the clitoris, orgasm, and masturbation, and publishers and the news media jumped at the opportunity to disseminate their views. In Desiring Revolution, Gerhard asks why issues of sex and female pleasure came to matter so much to these second-wave feminists. In answering this question Gerhard reveals the diverse views of sexuality within feminism and shows how the radical ideas put forward by this generation of American women was a response to attempts to define and contain female sexuality going back to the beginning of the century. Gerhard begins by showing how the marriage experts of the first half of the twentieth century led people to believe that female sexuality was bound up in bearing children. Ideas about normal, white, female heterosexuality began to change, however, in the 1950s and 1960s with the widely reported, and somewhat shocking, studies of Kinsey and Masters and Johnson, whose research spoke frankly about female sexual anatomy, practices, and pleasures. Gerhard then focuses on the sexual revolution between 1968 and 1975. Examining the work of Betty Friedan, Germaine Greer, Erica Jong, and Kate Millet, among many others, she reveals how little the diverse representatives of this movement shared other than the desire that women gain control of their own sexual destinies. Finally, Gerhard examines the divisions that opened up between anti-pornography (or anti-sex ) feminists and anti-censorship (or pro-sex ) radicals. At once erudite and refreshingly accessible, Desiring Revolution provides the first full account of the unfolding of the feminist sexual revolution.