NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ837180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Confronting the "Bra-Burners": Teaching Radical Feminism with a Case Study
Kreydatus, Beth
History Teacher, v41 n4 p489-504 Aug 2008
In many of the U.S. History courses the author has taught, she has encountered students who refer to the second-wave feminists of the 1960s and 1970s as "bra-burners." Unsurprisingly, these students know very little about the origin of this epithet, and frequently, they know even less about the women's movement generally. Second-wave feminism, and especially radical feminism, can be a challenging topic to teach in courses like the U.S. survey, largely because of the hostility and misconceptions that motivate students to use terms like "bra-burner." It might be tempting to pop in a good documentary film on second-wave feminism rather than to directly confront students' wary glares and open up a discussion on the topic. However, the women's movement fundamentally reshaped America in the 1960s and 1970s, and the issues debated by radical feminists continue to affect the students' world on a daily basis. In this article, the author stresses the importance of finding ways to get students talking about second-wave feminism, and suggests that history instructors provide the students with historical context so they can have informed discussions. She discusses an educational exercise highlighting two protests of the Miss America 1968 contest and the dynamic conceptualizations of femininity, beauty, and America. (Contains 47 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A