Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Militant feminism is characterized by two positions. First, the militant feminist believes that where the use of violence is justified, it is just as justified when performed by women as by men. Second, militant feminists hold that militant action can be justified in the pursuit of aims consistent with feminist values. Shortly after the emergence of second-wave feminism in the mid-1960’s, there is a surge of militant feminists among radical leftist organizations, such as the Weather Underground Organization. Second-wave feminists articulated a view of womanhood that was not confined to the home; militant feminists, such as those of the Weather Underground Organization, supplemented this expanded view of womanhood to include revolutionary movements where women struggled to obtain a more just society. This dissertation examines the Weather Underground Organization to show these militant feminist principles at work. Using pamphlets, political writings, position papers, and memoirs, this dissertation argues that, in fashioning their activist group, the women of the Weather Underground not only aligned themselves with accepted and recognized feminist goals but also fashioned their own brand of feminism, one that – in being international and political in scope – in many ways previewed elements of third wave of feminism, while also fitting in snugly with the second wave tradition. These Weatherwomen struggled to fashion a complex feminist platform for their organization and rose to positions of leadership in the group, in spite of elements of sexism within the Weather Underground Organization. By focusing on the neglected contributions of these Weatherwomen, the historical narrative can be adapted to include the history of militant feminism in a more comprehensive version of women’s history.
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Rocha, Mona Cristina, "Militant Feminism and the Women of the Weather Underground Organization" (2014). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 940.