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Introduction

Introduction karen j. blair At fi rst glance, these seven articles addressing the history of women’s clubs seem quite disparate, covering a social group in colonial India, an Indian res- ervation association in Oregon, an alliance of modern Filipina brides in Aus- tralia, Nebraska farm women testifying to Congress, a YWCA in North Caro- lina, the League of Women Voters’ enthusiasm for environmental protection, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs support for peace. In their to- tality, however, the essays reveal several common threads. Among them are the enduring collective efforts by women, over a century and a half, to be heard, help one another, and strengthen the bonds of friendship to create a safe haven to build skills and launch pressure on governments to improve the lives of women and all its citizens. From clubs, seemingly tame in contrast to more militant types of activism, are created women leaders for positions of infl uence. Perhaps the most persuasive lesson from this collection is the mes- sage that moderate behavior can deceive outsiders who might cling to suspi- cion that women’s groups cannot incubate meaningful change. The organized women explored in these essays most emphatically demonstrate that they have http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies University of Nebraska Press

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Frontiers Editorial Collective.
ISSN
1536-0334

Abstract

karen j. blair At fi rst glance, these seven articles addressing the history of women’s clubs seem quite disparate, covering a social group in colonial India, an Indian res- ervation association in Oregon, an alliance of modern Filipina brides in Aus- tralia, Nebraska farm women testifying to Congress, a YWCA in North Caro- lina, the League of Women Voters’ enthusiasm for environmental protection, and the General Federation of Women’s Clubs support for peace. In their to- tality, however, the essays reveal several common threads. Among them are the enduring collective efforts by women, over a century and a half, to be heard, help one another, and strengthen the bonds of friendship to create a safe haven to build skills and launch pressure on governments to improve the lives of women and all its citizens. From clubs, seemingly tame in contrast to more militant types of activism, are created women leaders for positions of infl uence. Perhaps the most persuasive lesson from this collection is the mes- sage that moderate behavior can deceive outsiders who might cling to suspi- cion that women’s groups cannot incubate meaningful change. The organized women explored in these essays most emphatically demonstrate that they have

Journal

Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Feb 4, 2010

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