How Did Florence Kitchelt Bring Together Social Feminists and Equal
Rights Feminists to Reconfigure the Campaign for the ERA in the
1940s and 50s?
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In 1943 Florence Kitchelt joined the National Woman's Party (NWP) and organized an autonomous organization in Connecticut to support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). As a social feminist she had opposed the ERA for twenty years, because she believed it would undo hard-won labor legislation for women. Between 1943 and 1960 Kitchelt promoted a third strategy that supported both the ERA and protective legislation. Her campaign highlights the bitter stand-off between social justice and equal rights feminists in the 1940s and their first glimmerings of compromise in the 1950s.
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