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Constructive FeminismWomen's Spaces and Women's Rights in the American City$
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Daphne Spain

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801453199

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801453199.001.0001

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Spatial Consequences of the Second Wave

(p.1) Introduction
Constructive Feminism

Daphne Spain

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter lays out the central argument of the book: that the Second Wave, a social movement dedicated to reconfiguring power relations between women and men, had both deliberate and unintended spatial consequences. It briefly reviews the unanticipated consequences visible today as sites of women’s work: fast-food restaurants and day-care facilities for children and the elderly, then returns to the main story of the 1970s, when feminists intentionally changed the use of urban space in two ways. Reform feminists used the legal system to end the mandatory segregation of women and men in public institutions, while radical activists created small-scale places that gave women the confidence to claim their rights to the public sphere.

Keywords:   Second Wave, power relations, women’s work, urban space, public institutions, reform feminists

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