Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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Start: Alphabetical Index: Speaker Index: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

First published: April 8, 2017 - Last updated: July 1, 2023


Speaker: Mary Ziegler

Title: The National Organization for Women, Sexuality, and The Right to Control One's Own Body

Subtitle: -

Conference: 17th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders and Sexualities: Difficult Conversations: Thinking and Talking About Women, Genders, & Sexualities Inside and Outside the Academy (June 1-4, 2017) - Online Program

Session: 239 P: A Civil Rights Movement to Speak for Women: The National Organization for Women at Fifty (Chair: Mary Jean Collins)

Place: Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, United States

Date: June 3, 2017

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Society: Movements / Women's Movement; Society: Organizations / National Organization for Women


Link: -


Speaker: Mary Ziegler, School of Law, University of California, Davis - Speaker's PErsonal Website, ResearchGate, Wikipedia

Abstract: »This paper reconsiders NOW's reform agenda governing sex and sexuality. Departing from scholarship that focuses narrowly on the feminist sex wars, I place NOW's proposals in the context of a larger social movement debate about the limits of a right to control one's own body.
Within NOW, the idea of a right to control one's body went far beyond abortion. Working with civil libertarians and early gay and lesbian rights groups, NOW members used the Roe decision and the right to choose it set out in unfamiliar ways. Creating a coherent agenda touching on sex education, rape reform, and lesbian rights, feminists insisted that the right to choose entitled women to state protection against private acts of sexual violence, not just freedom from government interference. Working with NOW, gay and lesbian rights activists used the idea of a right to choose to argue for tolerance for relationships and expression outside the home.
By the mid-1980s, NOW members found themselves on the defensive. But the stalling of the quest for sexual liberty also unearthed lingering ambivalence about the individualism that seemed ascendant in the 1970s. While promoting a right for adults to have sex, activists, attorneys, and lawmakers disagreed intensely about what made intimacy consensual. Erstwhile allies also defined private conduct differently, clashing about which forms of non-marital relationships should be seen in public or recognized by the state. These battles brought to the light anxieties that both colored and limited the culture of individualism emerging in the period.« (Source: Online Program)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States / History of the United States (1964-80), History of the United States (1980-91) | Feminism: Feminist organizations / National Organization for Women | Sex and the law: Sexual violence