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Big SisterFeminism, Conservatism, and Conspiracy in the Heartland$
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Erin M. Kempker

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041976

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041976.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

The Battle over the ERA

The Battle over the ERA

(p.64) Chapter 3 The Battle over the ERA
Big Sister

Erin M. Kempker

University of Illinois Press

Chapter 3 zeros in on Indiana to investigate how conservativism infused with one-world conspiracism developed there and affected feminist goals like the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Feminism was alive and well in the state and existing liberal groups formed a coalition that called itself the ERA Coordinating Committee (later renamed Hoosiers for the Equal Rights Amendment) in the early seventies in order to achieve state ratification of the ERA. Feminists adopted a “low key” approach--a strategy to make feminism palatable to the general public in the state. On the right, conservative women effectively transitioned old anticommunist fears to a new target and in editorials described the ERA as communist directed. State ERA ratification riled and rallied the rightwing and made conservatives all the more determined to stop “the planners” in their next showdown, International Women’s Year.

Keywords:   Equal Rights Amendment, Indiana, second wave feminism, women, political activity, STOP ERA, Pro America, conservatism, anticommunism, secular humanism

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