Daphne Spain, PhD - Constructive Feminism: Women's Spaces and Women's Rights in the American City
Daphne Spain, Ph.D., is the James M. Page Professor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia School of Architecture. She will speak on Constructive Feminism: Women's Spaces and Women's Rights in the American City.
Constructive Feminism explores the spatial consequences of 1970s Second Wave feminism. Like the civil rights movement, the women’s movement generated both deliberate and unintentional urban spaces. Feminist activists created women’s centers, bookstores, health clinics and domestic violence shelters in pursuit of their rights. As women gained greater autonomy through the use of these places, their entry into the labor force accelerated. Once the majority of women worked outside the home, their exit from domestic caretaking duties increased demand for fast food, childcare facilities, day services for the elderly and hospices. These unintentional spaces now shape the urban landscape in ways few feminists could have anticipated.
Spain uses interviews with pioneering activists in Boston and Los Angeles, along with archival data, to illustrate the importance of place for the feminist victories that are now under attack by right-wing conservatives.