vol 14 - 1988

In “The Just Price, the Free Market, and the Value of Women,” the lead article in this issue of Feminist Studies, Alice Kessler-Harris eloquently reminds us of our responsibility as feminist scholars to address public issue s and demonstrates that a knowledge of women's history is crucial to assessing policies that affect women's lives today. By tracing the historical roots of the concept of comparable worth, Kessler-Harris shows the continuity of the contemporary pay equity movement with earlier efforts by women workers to achieve equity and social justice. Her analysis of why the comparable worth movement is so strongly resisted today reminds us of the ways in which gender affects the ways work is assigned value but also that such evaluations are always historically specific.

Like Kessler-Harris's essay, many of the other articles in this issue underscore the importance of women's history to an understanding of contemporary women's lives and work. The title of Judy Aulette and Trudy Mills's essay, "Something Old, Something New," explicitly captures the relationship between the past and present. In comparing the public role of the Morenci Miners Women's Auxiliary (MMWA) in the 1983-86 copper strike in Arizona with the roles of early women's labor auxiliaries, Aulette and Mills demonstrate how ideologies introduced by the second wave of feminism contributed to the formation and political activity of the MMWA. Although the group fulfilled the traditional role of supporting families on strike, it also engaged in activities that challenged conventional gender roles. Yet, because the mass media defined the domestically oriented work of the auxiliary as something distinct from and outside "politics," the MMWA's contributions were largely ignored.




Alice Kessler-Harris
The Just Price, the Free Market, and
the Value of Women

Judy Aulette and Trudy Mills
Something Old, Something New:
Auxiliary Work in the 1983-1986
Copper Strike

Judith M. Bennett
"History That Stands Still":
Women's Work in the European Past
(a Review Essay)

Josephine Withers
The Guerrilla Girls (an Art Essay)

Leslie Page Moch
Government Policy and Women's
Experience: The Case of Teachers
in France

Andrea Benton Rushing

Renate Dorrestein
"Make Way for What People Say":
Notes on Gender and Writing

Ellen M. Umansky
Females, Feminists, and Feminism:
A Review of Recent Literature on
Jewish Feminism and a Creation of a
Feminist Judaism
(a Review Essay)

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