Describe the National Organization of Women (NOW) and the origins and goals of the modern women’s movement

NOW was important in advancing the rights of women. It was founded by Betty Friedan. This organization looked to advance woman in society. It looked for equal economic opportunities for men and women. It sought to create childcare facilities so that more women could work and it also looked to gain equal woman representation in the government. The main goal of NOW was to end discrimination based on sex so that men could be equal to women. The organization started the Take Back the Night Movement which was focused on bringing attention to sexual and domestic violence toward woman. These marches are now held every year in major cities, and campuses around the United States. Universities held take back the night marches at the start of the movement. NOW also aimed to ensure that domestic violence and other crimes against women were seen as equal to a crime against a man.  The founder of NOW wrote a book called Feminine Mystique which was a cry to woman around the United States, to get out of the stereotypical housewife position and begin working or going for other opportunities tat were previously thought to be only available to men. As an extension of women’s rights the case Roe v. Wade was picked up by the Supreme Court. In the case chief justice Harry Blackmun, along with the majority of the Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision, extended the privacy clause to abortions. This allowed women to have abortions in the first two trimesters of a fetus’s life, giving them more control over their own bodies.

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The rise of the second feminist movement was huge. In a time that woman were being degraded daily the Civil Rights Movement along with other political movements showed women that they could organize again and overcome the patriarchal society that was being formed around them. This along with organizations such as NOW and movements such as the Take Back The Night Campaign gave women both equality and protective backing. This period of history is important as women have been critical throughout history and we could not have the society we have today without the rise of the second wave of feminism, that was supported by these movements.


Project: Back The Night by Andrew Cox


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