Essay I Want A Wife Judy Brady

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Was he volunteering to be one of those men who would help fill the shortage?

As a historian of 1970s feminism, I was also somewhat bemused.

Written in the early years of women’s liberation, the article was more scathing in its tone than The Wife Drought.

Husbands, it implied, were selfish, lazy and ungrateful.

She jokingly suggested that what was needed was a “wife quota”.

When my partner sent me a link to her column, I was more than pleased.

Crabb’s article reminded me of a classic work of the American women’s movement written more than 40 years ago.

Judy Syfers’ short essay, I Want a Wife, was based on a speech Syfers (now Brady) delivered on August 26 1970 at a rally in San Francisco to mark the 50th anniversary of American women’s suffrage.

Tracing Australian media views of feminism from 1980 onwards, Campo has shown how key tenets of 1970s feminism have been misconstrued.

Feminists were blamed for telling women that they could “have it all” – a claim, as Campo points out, that was more a product of British journalist Shirley Conran’s bestseller Superwoman (1975) than of the organised women’s movement.


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