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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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Women’s Centers

Women’s Centers

Nurturing Autonomy

(p.50) Chapter 2 Women’s Centers
Constructive Feminism

Daphne Spain

Cornell University Press

This chapter identifies women’s centers as the first and most important feminist places that launched the spaces analyzed in the later chapters: bookstores, health clinics, and domestic violence shelters. Of all feminist places, women’s centers were the most important for both the women and the movement. A completely new use of space, they nurtured the formation of yet more places. Women went to centers to find out what a feminist was and figure out whether they qualified. They carried on serious conversations about sexism, racism, and homophobia with other women, or joined a consciousness-raising (C-R) group to explore the relationship between their personal lives and the political economy in which they were enmeshed. Centers were also clearinghouses for finding a doctor, a roommate, a job, or other resources.

Keywords:   feminist places, women’s centers, C-R groups, political economy, clearinghouses

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