Was the "women's lib" movement of the 1970s significant for your
To support your argument, get some family stories about this era. The following
questions should elicit family stories that will be useful to you. Composing
your own questions might be even more successful, especially if you base those
questions on your knowledge of your family chronology and history.
- Did any of the women in your family belong to a consciousness raising group
or any other women's groups? How did it start? How long did it last?
- Did anyone in your family read Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique?
- Did your family support the Equal Rights Amendment?
- When and why did women in your family first make the decision to go to
- Have attitudes toward gender discrimination changed in your family? Is
there something specific that one generation believed or experienced that
the next generation doesn't believe or wouldn't tolerate? What explains the
change -- peer pressure, differences in character or personality, social attitudes?
- Has anyone in your family experienced or observed sexual harassment or
heard about it from a friend? Did the incident seem shocking at the time or
was it accepted as unavoidable during the era in which it occurred?
- What have women been good at in your family? What have women depended on
men to do? Was this different before the 1970s and after?
- Did your family members watch the movie Nine to Five? Did men and women
More general questions for further conversation:
- What happened the day your first child was born? Was giving birth different
then than it is now? Who assisted with the childbirth?
- How did you decide on your children's names? Who made the final decision,
and why was that name(s) chosen?
- When you were young, what did people do to improve their looks -- make-up?
corsets/girdles? exercise? diet?
- Have any women in your family been closer to their women friends than to
- What kinds of books or movies do women in your family like? What kinds of
books or movies to men in your family like?
- Think of a man and woman in your family. What does the family most admire
or appreciate about the man? What does the family most admire or appreciate
about the woman? Is that different from the way outsiders perceive those people?
- What is the best thing about your mother? What is the worst thing about