Last Sunday was May 1, International Workers Day. Studs was a great supporter of the labor movement in all its iterations, and he demonstrated that on April 30, 1981 when he spoke to Dolores Hayden, author of The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities. The book describes the work of women who “campaigned against women’s isolation in the home and confinement to domestic life as the basic cause of the unequal position in society” (from the MIT Press page).
It’s an economic struggle which is about women’s work, all kinds of women’s work. In the household, taking care of children, cooking and cleaning… A struggle to find… places which spatially support new forms of women’s work.
Hayden focuses specifically on what she calls material feminists: “alert women who understood that in addition to changing work, they had to change the design of the workplace.” Since for most women, the workplace was the home, this entailed “the feminist struggle to transform homes, neighborhoods, and cities.”
At a time when a presidential candidate can reference the “Woman card,” where a pink tax is common and a tampon tax must be voted against, and women still are paid less than men, this is the right moment to remember the American feminists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who believed that “women must be economically independent if they were going to be truly equal citizens in society.”
Over the weekend we also lost one of the last century’s great civil disobedients, Father Daniel Berrigan. In 1972, after he’d been released from prison for burning draft records in Catonsville, Maryland, he joined Studs in the studio to talk about his family, the time he spent in France, his civil rights work with his brother Philip, and why he continues to make radical choices.
And finally, if you enjoyed our month of poetry programs, you can find them all here.
Photo credit: By Frances Benjamin Johnston – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3a49162. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5975390