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A Class by Herself: Protective Laws for Women Workers, 1890s–1990s by Nancy Woloch

A Class by Herself: Protective Laws for Women Workers, 1890s–1990s by Nancy Woloch Protective Laws for Women Workers, 1890s–1990s Nancy Woloch Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015 352 pp., $39.50 (cloth); $26.95 (paper) The Feminist Majority—a US organization dedicated to women’s advancement— recently announced that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is “moving forward again!” This renewed interest in constitutional guarantees of women’s equality renders Nancy Woloch’s award-winning book especially timely. A Class by Herself is the only history to analyze single-sex protective labor legislation from the late nineteenth century through the late twentieth, and it stands as both a warning to the reviving ERA movement and a spur to it. Because women-only labor laws were for many decades the primary obstacle to the ERA, the history of the amendment has been closely bound to that of labor law. In fact, the early opposition between ERA and single-sex labor protections expressed class divisions that, in some cases, continue to bedevil feminists. Since the ERA was originally promoted by a small band of elites closely tied to employers and would, in that period, have hurt many wage-earning women by undermining single-sex protective labor laws they treasured, the amendment is part of the history that alienated working-class women from self-identified feminists. Overcoming class divisions http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas Duke University Press

A Class by Herself: Protective Laws for Women Workers, 1890s–1990s by Nancy Woloch

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright � Duke Univ Press
ISSN
1547-6715
eISSN
1558-1454
DOI
10.1215/15476715-3921467
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Protective Laws for Women Workers, 1890s–1990s Nancy Woloch Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015 352 pp., $39.50 (cloth); $26.95 (paper) The Feminist Majority—a US organization dedicated to women’s advancement— recently announced that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is “moving forward again!” This renewed interest in constitutional guarantees of women’s equality renders Nancy Woloch’s award-winning book especially timely. A Class by Herself is the only history to analyze single-sex protective labor legislation from the late nineteenth century through the late twentieth, and it stands as both a warning to the reviving ERA movement and a spur to it. Because women-only labor laws were for many decades the primary obstacle to the ERA, the history of the amendment has been closely bound to that of labor law. In fact, the early opposition between ERA and single-sex labor protections expressed class divisions that, in some cases, continue to bedevil feminists. Since the ERA was originally promoted by a small band of elites closely tied to employers and would, in that period, have hurt many wage-earning women by undermining single-sex protective labor laws they treasured, the amendment is part of the history that alienated working-class women from self-identified feminists. Overcoming class divisions

Journal

Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the AmericasDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2017

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