Why Did the Iowa League of Women Voters Oppose the
Equal Rights Amendment during the 1940s and 1950s?

Abstract

       The activities of the League of Women Voters of Iowa during the 1940s and 1950s challenge two commonly held assumptions: first, that in the Cold War years, when American culture was so hostile to feminism, the League of Women Voters confined itself to “safe” civic issues and avoided issues of women’s rights, and, second, that Iowa is a political backwater, isolated from larger national debates. The materials presented here focus on a group of people who have been largely unrecognized, in a state that has been traditionally ignored, and also challenge the traditional historiography regarding the League of Women Voters’ involvement with women’s rights issues in the 1940s and 1950s.

       
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Introduction

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