Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
National Organization for Women (NOW)
Carolyn S. Ridenour
The founding of the National Organization for Women (NOW) can be directly linked to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was the enforcement tool for the Civil Rights Act. A small group of women gathered in a Washington, D.C., hotel room in June 1966 to discuss the refusal of EEOC to include a ban on sex discrimination in employment ads—ads labeled “Help Wanted–Male” and “Help Wanted–Female.” As an outgrowth of this discussion, 4 months later the women established NOW as an organization devoted to equal rights for women, which included gender equity in education. Betty Friedan was a member of that small group in the hotel room. Her social critique, The Feminine Mystique (1963), became a bestseller as it raised questions among millions of women across the country about the primary aspiration toward which women were then being socialized, that is, In ...