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The Universal Childcare Debate: Rights Mobilization, Social Policy, and the Dynamics of Feminist Activism, 1966–1974

  • Deborah Dinner
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1. This article uses an expansive definition of “feminism,” recognizing that feminist activism during the late 1960s and early 1970s encompassed distinct political ideologies and modes of activism. Recent scholarship has challenged the standard depiction of waves of feminism, which privileges the activism of middle-class white women. Instead, scholars emphasize the multiplicity of feminist origins, organizations, and modes of activism, as well as race and class dynamics among women activists. On the origins of 1960s and 1970s feminist movements in the black freedom struggle, Chicano movement, and white Left, see Roth, Benita, Separate Roads to Feminism: Black, Chicana, and White Feminist Movements in America's Second Wave (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004). For a discussion of black feminist organizations and the intersectional identity politics of black women activists, see Springer, Kimberly, Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations, 1968–1980 (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005). On the tension between solidarity and difference within movements for women's liberation, black freedom, and economic justice, as well as a nuanced exploration of intermovement collaboration and conflict, see Valk, Anne M., Radical Sisters: Second-Wave Feminism and Black Liberation in Washington, D.C. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008). For a history of race within the women's movement focusing on black and white socialist feminism, see Breines, Winifred, The Trouble Between Us: An Uneasy History of White and Black Women in the Feminist Movement (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

2. This article is based on periodical and archival sources. First, articles in the underground feminist and radical press formed an important source base that provided insight into local, grassroots activism not recorded in the documents of any formal organization. I performed a keyword search in the Alternative Press Index for the years 1967 through 1974 and then read every extant article resulting from this search that I could obtain through the “Underground Newspaper” and “Herstory” microfiche collections. Second, newsletters, pamphlets, and political tracts from the women's liberation movement, available on the microform “Female Liberation” series at the Schlesinger Library, as well as the papers of local feminist activists, provided insight into radical and socialist feminist thought and activism respecting childcare. Third, I performed archival research in the papers of individuals prominent within the national women's movement including Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Shirley Chisholm. For the purposes of this article, I have bracketed the related subject of child custody and other litigation that concerned the sexual division of childrearing labor.

3. Fraser, Nancy, Unruly Practices: Power, Discourse, and Gender in Contemporary Social Theory (Cambridge: Polity, 1989), 163–75.

4. Evans, Sara M. organized a classic synthesis of women's history around the theme of women's challenges to the public/private divide in Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America (New York: Free Press, 1989). For further historical scholarship that interrogates the construction of the boundaries between family, market, and state, see Boris, Eileen, Home to Work: Motherhood and the Politics of Industrial Homework in the United States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Stanley, Amy Dru, From Bondage to Contract: Wage Labor, Marriage, and the Market in the Age of Slave Emancipation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998); Siegel, Reva B., “The Modernization of Marital Status Law: Adjudicating Wives' Right to Earnings, 1860–1930,” Georgetown Law Journal 82 (1995): 21272211, For a theoretical exploration of the contemporary political constructions of “public” and “private” that organize the distribution of responsibility for human dependency and caretaking work among familial, market, and state institutions, see Fineman, Martha Albertson, “Contract and Care,” Chicago Kent Law Review 76 (2001): 1403–40; Fineman, Martha Albertson, The Autonomy Myth: A Theory of Dependency (New York: New Press, 2004).

5. The study of feminist childcare activism contributes to new scholarship that evaluates the potential for coalition within the women's movement. The leading historical work exploring the formation of feminist coalitions in the 1960s and 1970s across race, class, and other axes of social difference is Gilmore, Stephanie, ed., Feminist Coalitions: Historical Perspectives on Second-Wave Feminism in the United States (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008).

6. For theoretical scholarship arguing that the rights that feminists achieved in the courts did not realize substantive equality and freedom for women, and especially poor women and women of color, see Abrams, Kathryn, “The Constitution of Women,” Alabama Law Review 48 (1997): 861–84; Becker, Mary, “The Sixties Shift to Formal Equality and the Courts: An Argument for Pragmatism and Politics,” William and Mary Law Review 40 (1998): 209–77; Fineman, Martha Albertson, “The Vulnerable Subject: Anchoring Equality in the Human Condition,” Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 20 (2008): 123; Littleton, Christine A., “Equality and Feminist Legal Theory,” University of Pittsburgh Law Review 48 (1987): 1043–59; MacKinnon, Catharine A., Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1987), MacKinnon, Catharine A., “Reflections on Sex Equality Under Law,” Yale Law Journal 100 (1991): 12811328. Both the theoretical and the legal historical literatures above, however, focus on rights claims litigated in the courts rather than those addressed to the legislative branch.

7. Legal historians, in contrast to theoreticians, explore the contingencies in the processes by which lawyers take up, reshape, and ultimately narrow the rights claims made by aggrieved individuals and groups. For scholarship exploring how lawyers and litigation strategy, in the face of political constraints, narrowed the agendas of the African American civil rights movement of the 1940s and early 1950s and the feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s, see Goluboff, Risa L., The Lost Promise of Civil Rights (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007) and Mayeri, Serena, “Constitutional Choices: Legal Feminism and the Historical Dynamics of Change,” California Law Review 92 (2004): 755839.

8. Legal scholars have debated the relative institutional competencies of legislatures and courts. Compare, for example, Waldron, Jeremy, Law and Disagreement (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999) with Eisgruber, Christopher L., Constitutional Self-Government (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001). Legal historians, however, have not compared social movements' use of rights language targeting courts and rights language targeting legislatures and other institutions.

9. See Kelman, Mark, A Guide to Critical Legal Studies (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1987), esp. 62–63, 66–74, 275–77, 289–90.

10. Brown, Wendy, “Suffering the Paradoxes of Rights,” in Left Legalism/Left Critique, ed. Brown, Wendy and Halley, Janet (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2002), 420–34.

11. For social histories arguing that popular rights consciousness within modern social movements empower rights claimants to effect political change, see Kornbluh, Felicia, The Battle for Welfare Rights: Politics and Poverty in Modern America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007) and MacLean, Nancy, Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006). Legal historians have also examined the power of rights discourse wielded by social movements rather than by the courts; much of this literature has focused on constitutional rights consciousness, in particular. Hendrik Hartog offered a framework for histories of constitutional rights consciousness in an article that became a foundational text for scholarship examining constitutional actors outside of conventional interpreters of authoritative texts and court-made law; see Hartog, , “The Constitution of Aspiration and ‘The Rights that Belong to Us All,’” Journal of American History 74 (1987): 1013–34. William E. Forbath took up this challenge, using the nineteenth-century labor movement as a case study to add empirical meat to the theoretical debate about whether rights language constrains or empowers social movements. Forbath argued that the laissez-faire rights talk wielded by the labor movement in the late nineteenth century represented an accommodation to hostile judicial review and state-sanctioned violence against workers, but it also served as an emancipatory discourse that helped labor to challenge the dominant legal order; see Forbath, , Law and the Shaping of the American Labor Movement (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1991).

12. My understanding of rights language as a politically powerful discursive tool, despite its limitations, draws upon the insights of critical race theorists. These theorists remain cautiously optimistic about the power of rights discourse to challenge the subordination of political outsiders. A classic text of critical race theory exploring the potential and limits of rights is Williams, Patricia J., The Alchemy of Race and Rights (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991), esp. 146–65. Williams exemplifies critical race theorists who argue that theoreticians' rejection of rights trivializes people of color's effort to challenge the ongoing, political denial of their needs. See also Williams, Patricia J., “Alchemical Notes: Reconstructing Ideals from Deconstructed Rights,” in Critical Race Theory: The Cutting Edge, 2nd ed., ed. Delgado, Richard and Stefancic, Jean (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000), 8090. Although critical race theorists argue variously that Supreme Court decisions serve the interest of the white majority rather than protect minority rights, that color-blind constitutionalism cannot overcome racial subordination, and that lawyers representing people of color often privilege their own ideals over those of their clients, these theorists do not reject rights per se. See, for example, Derrick A. Bell Jr., “Serving Two Masters: Integration Ideals and Client Interests in School Desegregation Litigation,” in Delgado and Stefancic, Critical Race Theory, 236–46; Neil Gotanda, “A Critique of ‘Our Constitution is Color-Blind’” in Delgado and Stefancic, Critical Race Theory, 35–38; Girardeau A. Spann, “Pure Politics,” in Delgado and Stefancic, Critical Race Theory, 21–34. Instead, critical race theorists identify the potential in rights language to build community, articulate grievances, and hold the nation accountable to its political ideals. See, for example, Monica J. Evans, “Stealing Away: Black Women, Outlaw Culture, and the Rhetoric of Rights,” in Delgado and Stefancic, Critical Race Theory, 500–513. Some feminist scholars join critical race theorists in assessing the utility as well as the limitations of rights discourse. Elizabeth M. Schneider, for example, argues that in specific circumstances, rights discourse can aid the development of political consciousness and the expression of transformative political ideas, while at other times rights discourse may constrain political debate; see Schneider, , “The Dialectics of Rights and Politics: Perspectives from the Women's Movement,” in At the Boundaries of Law: Feminism and Legal Theory, ed. Fineman, Martha Albertson and Thomadsen, Nancy Sweet (Routledge: New York, 1991), 301–19.

13. There is a surprisingly small literature on feminist thought and activism regarding childcare during the sixties and seventies. Lauri Umansky offers the most comprehensive historical analysis in Motherhood Reconceived: Feminism and the Legacies of the Sixties (New York: New York University Press, 1996). See also Yen-Chuan Yu, “Both Mother and Feminist: The Problem of Motherhood in the Second Women's Movement in America” (PhD diss., University of Indiana, 2001).

14. Mary Frances Berry argues that a cultural preference for “mother-care” has thwarted universal childcare policy in the United States in The Politics of Parenthood: Child Care, Women's Rights, and the Myth of the Good Mother (New York: Viking, 1993). Sonya Michel demonstrates how policy experts have constructed and enforced this preference for maternal nurture and care of children in historical debates about maternal employment and child welfare in Children's Interests/Mothers' Rights: The Shaping of America's Child Care Policy (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1999). Geraldine Youcha provides a descriptive overview of both personal and institutional childcare arrangements, using case studies of seven historical moments from the Colonial Period through the present in Minding the Children: Child Care in America from Colonial Times to the Present (New York: Scribner, 1995). For early discussions of childcare policy published nearly contemporaneously with the debate over universal legislation, see Roby, Pamela A., ed., Child Care—Who Cares? Foreign and Domestic Infant and Early Childhood Development Policies (New York: Basic Books, 1973); Steinfels, Margaret O'Brien, Who's Minding the Children? The History and Politics of Day Care in America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973). Although all of the above historians note that childcare constituted a demand of the modern women's liberation movement, they do not study feminist thought or activism on the issue in substantive detail. For a significant exception to the focus on elite activism in the national political arena, see Stoltzfus, Emilie, Citizen, Mother, Worker: Debating Public Responsibility for Child Care after the Second World War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2003). Stoltzfus chronicles mothers' struggles from 1945 to the mid-1960s to preserve wartime funding for childcare in Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and California; the story she tells is an important predecessor to the history related in this essay. Lauri Umansky was the first to analyze radical feminist activism respecting childcare in the context of her larger study about feminist attitudes to motherhood (Motherhood Reconceived, 46–51). This article builds on the foundation laid by Umansky to offer a more detailed and comprehensive analysis of feminist mobilization for the right to childcare.

15. Most overviews of the women's movement in the sixties and seventies devote only a few pages to attempts to establish alternative childcare arrangements via legislation or independent collectives. See, for example, Davis, Flora, Moving the Mountain: The Women's Movement in America Since 1960 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), 278–86; Echols, Alice, Daring to be Bad: Radical Feminism in America, 1967–1975 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989), 223, 226–27, 237, 379–80; Evans, Sara M., Personal Politics: The Roots of Women's Liberation in the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left (New York: Vintage, 1979), 217, 222, 225, 231; Freeman, Jo, The Politics of Women's Liberation: A Case Study of an Emerging Social Movement and its Relation to the Policy Process (New York: David McKay, Inc., 1975), 160–61, 202, 206–7, 242; Hartmann, Susan M., From Margin to Mainstream: American Women and Politics since 1960 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989), 37, 65, 76–77, 83, 88, 102; Rosen, Ruth, The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America (New York: Viking, 2000), 79, 90–92, 208. Most recently, Sara M. Evans suggests that NOW's constituency did not prioritize the issue of childcare as much as employment discrimination or abortion. But Evans's focus on NOW's activism during the seventies ignores a brief period of both liberal and radical feminist organizing for the right to childcare in the late sixties; see Evans, , Tidal Wave: How Women Changed America at Century's End (New York: Free Press, 2003), 5556.

16. See, for example, Michel, Children's Interest/Mothers' Rights, 248–51; Berry, Politics of Parenthood, 137–40.

17. In a meticulously researched article, Kimberly Morgan uncovers the high politics behind Nixon's veto of the Comprehensive Child Development Act. Although Morgan notes that the CCDA retained associations with women's liberation, she does not examine how those associations took shape in the context of feminist childcare activism or why the CCDA's challenge to gender norms sparked New Right mobilization against the legislation (Morgan, Kimberly J., “A Child of the Sixties: The Great Society, the New Right, and the Politics of Federal Child Care,” Journal of Policy History 13 (2001): 215–50); see also Morgan, Kimberly J., Working Mothers and the Welfare State: Religion and the Politics of Work-Family Policies in Western Europe and the United States (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2006), 96104.

18. Michel, Children's Interests/Mothers' Rights, 236–38.

19. Ibid., 118–49.

20. Stoltzfus, Citizen, Mother, Worker, esp. 10, 46–58, 90, 137–38, 186–91.

21. Michel, Children's Interest/Mothers' Rights, 205–9.

22. Ibid., 219–33.

23. Mittelstadt, Jennifer, From Welfare to Workfare: The Unintended Consequences of Liberal Reform, 1945–1965 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005), 119–27, 150–51; see also Michel, Children's Interests/Mothers' Rights, 238–39.

24. Michel, Children's Interests/Mothers' Rights, 243–47; see also Mittelstadt, From Welfare to Workfare, 162–64, 168–71.

25. For a discussion of the intersecting race and gender politics in the passage of Title VII, see MacLean, Freedom Is Not Enough, 119–23, and Mayeri, “Constitutional Choices,” 770–77.

26. See Maclean, Freedom Is Not Enough, 137.

27. These rates of increase refer to the period between World War II and 1969. U.S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau, prepared by Beatrice Rosenberg under the supervision of Pearl G. Spindler, Chief, Division of Legislation and Standards, “Day Care Facts,” folder: Day Care—US Government Programs, box 143, Bella Abzug Papers, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

28. For the story of NOW's formation, see Davis, Moving the Mountain, 52–59.

29. Post, Robert C. and Siegel, Reva B., “Legislative Constitutionalism and Section Five Power: Policentric Interpretation of the Family and Medical Leave Act,” Yale Law Journal 112 (2003): 2008–9,

30. On the role of Title VII in enabling women to assert new political identities that challenged the sociolegal construction of gender, see MacLean, Freedom Is Not Enough, 123–54.

31. Post and Siegel, “Legislative Constitutionalism,” 2009.

32. See National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) Statement of Purpose, adopted at the organizing conference in Washington, D.C, October 29, 1966, in Feminist Chronicles, 1953–1993, ed. Toni Carabillo, Judith Meuli, and June Bundy Csida (Los Angeles: Women's Graphic, 1993), 159, 161–62, available at; N.O.W. Bill of Rights, in Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women's Liberation Movement, ed. Robin Morgan (New York: Random House, 1970), 513.

33. Betty Friedan, “Introduction: Call To Strike,” 1, 9–10, Herstory Part II, folder 1010, carton 30, Betty Friedan Papers, MC 577, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. (hereinafter Betty Friedan Papers).

34. Betty Friedan, “Call to Women's Strike For Equality, August 26, 1970,” folder 1186, carton 35, Betty Friedan Papers.

35. For a provocative discussion of how the invocation of the Nineteenth Amendment located the Strike within women's constitutional vision for equal citizenship, see Post and Siegel, “Legislative Constitutionalism,” 1988–2000.

36. Judy Klemesrud, “A Herstory-Making Event,” New York Times Magazine, August 23, 1970, 6. Between 35,000 and 50,000 women participated in the Strike for Equality in New York City alone. Echols, Daring to be Bad, 198. The Strike for Equality shared a keyword, “strike,” with another postwar women's movement, Women Strike for Peace (WSP). But the August 1970 action represented a break from the political style and goals of WSP. WSP mobilized on the basis of women's identities as mothers to pressure the U.S. government to implement a more just and peace-oriented foreign policy. By contrast, the feminists participating in the Strike for Equality directly challenged traditional motherhood and targeted women's equality rather than other social justice issues. For the history of WSP, see Amy Swerdlow, Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993).

37. Childcare's place in feminist thought and activism complicates the familiar dichotomy between liberal feminists' pursuit of individual rights in the public sphere and radical feminists' critique of patriarchy in the private sphere. The childcare issue demonstrates that liberal feminists in the late sixties believed that equal citizenship necessitated state intervention in the family and that radical feminists, in the process of politicizing the personal, theorized the state as well as their private lives. Indeed, historian Ruth Rosen argues that feminism achieved its greatest political power when, as in the campaign for universal childcare, the movement united the effective advocacy skills of liberal activists with radicals' critique of patriarchy. Although these branches of the movement were distinct, Rosen argues, their goals overlapped: NOW's struggle for equality necessitated collective solutions to women's problems that incorporated race- and class-conscious perspectives, while radical feminists' exposure of the “hidden injuries” of sex at times resulted in legal change (Rosen, World Split Open, 87–88). Furthermore, as Anne Valk notes, the ideological and identity-based divisions between formal feminist organizations blurred when individual activists created local alliances, social networks, and coalitions on the ground (Valk, Radical Sisters, 184–85).

38. Eisenstein, Zillah R., The Radical Future of Liberal Feminism, 2nd ed. (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993), 68.

39. “Introduction: Strike Day,” 7, Herstory Part II, folder 1011, carton 30, Betty Friedan Papers. For an illuminating and theoretically informed discussion of the political power wielded by women's appropriation of public spaces, see Enke, Anne, Finding the Movement: Sexuality, Contested Space, and Feminist Activism (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2007), esp. 4–7. Enke discusses women's intervention in commercial spaces such as bars, efforts to claim space in public parks for female athletics, and feminist institutions such as health clinics or bookstores. Her insights are applicable to feminist protest in civic space such as the day care demonstration at New York's City Hall.

40. Several historians have theorized childcare as a right of social citizenship; they have not however, specifically applied that framework to grassroots feminist activism for childcare in the 1960s. See, for example, Jenson, Jane and Sineau, Mariette, Who Cares? Women's Work, Childcare, and Welfare State Redesign (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001), 612; Michel, Children's Interests/Mothers' Rights, 2; Ritter, Gretchen, The Constitution as Social Design: Gender and Civic Membership in the American Constitutional Order (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2006), 260; Stoltzfus, Citizen, Mother, Worker, 1–15.

41. The Strike's demand for free, twenty-four-hour childcare supports Zillah Eisenstein's theory that liberal feminism carried within it the potential for a more radical political movement. Eisenstein argues that pushed to its limits, liberal feminism would expose the contradictions between the patriarchal and individualist character of liberalism and the egalitarian and collectivist character of feminism (Radical Future, 3–11, 203–4, 222, 248). The childcare demand demonstrated that in 1970, the activists we now identify as “liberal feminists” did not merely desire an extension of liberalism to women but rather challenged the sexual division of labor that formed the basis for liberalism. On “liberalism's family values,” see Brown, Wendy, States of Injury: Power and Freedom in Late Modernity (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995), 135–65.

42. Echols, Daring to be Bad, 3–4.

43. Umansky, Motherhood Reconceived, 27–29.

44. For a discussion of Firestone's biography and politics in the context of radical feminism, see Echols, Daring to Be Bad, 65–67, 73–74, 82, 112–19, 139–44, 148, 150–52.

45. Firestone, Shulamith, The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution (New York: Morrow, 1970), 812, 35, 53–56, 81–85, 219–20, 225–31, 233–34.

46. Umansky, Motherhood Reconceived, 28.

47. Ibid., 28, 42–46.

48. Atkinson, Ti-Grace, “Radical Feminism,” Notes from the Second Year (1970): 34; Eisenstein, Radical Future, 7.

49. Linda Gordon, “Families,” folder 31, box 2, Annie Popkin Papers, 89-M204, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

50. “Manifesto for a New Women's Liberation Organization in NY,” in Feminists—New York City file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. [hereinafter Manifesto]. The Feminists grew out of October 17, the group that Ti-Grace Atkinson formed after she left her position as head of New York NOW over the chapter's refusal to support the repeal of abortion laws and hierarchical procedures (Echols, Daring to be Bad, 167–69).

51. “Day Care,” Old Mole, February 20, 1970, 6, in folder 8f + , box 1, Nancy Grey Osterud Papers, 83-M121—85-M197, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

52. Ibid.

53. Manifesto; “Principles of Unity,” in Berkeley/Oakland Women's Union file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

54. Chicago Women's Liberation Union, “Why we are Against Capitalism,” 1, in Chicago Women's Liberation Union file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

55. “Bread and Roses Declaration: The Rights of Women,” Old Mole, March 6, 1970, in Bread and Roses file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. [hereinafter “Bread and Roses Declaration”]; “The Socialist Workshop: Where We Came From—Where We Are Going,” folder 13, box 1, Nancy Grey Osterud Papers, 83-M121—85-M197, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; see also Umansky, Motherhood Reconceived, 30.

56. “Female Liberation—Cell 16, Strategy and Tactic for a Female Liberation Movement,” July 27, 1969, 4th in a series of lectures and discussions for females, 2, in Female Liberation file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. [hereinafter “Strategy and Tactic”].

57. “Southern Female Rights Union Program For Female Liberation,” Southern Female Rights Union file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

58. Letter from Bread and Roses, “Dear Sister,” circa 1971, folder 6, box 1, Nancy Grey Osterud Papers, 83-M121—85-M197, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

59. “Bread and Roses Declaration”; “Day Care,” Old Mole, 6.

60. “Strategy and Tactic.”

61. Beal, Frances M., “Double Jeopardy: To be Black and Female,” in The Black Woman: An Anthology, ed. Cade, Toni (New York: Penguin, 1970), 91.

62. U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Standards Administration, “Facts on Women Workers of Minority Races,” folder 14, box 198, Gloria Steinem Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

63. Ibid.: In 1970, the median wage or salary income for all minority women workers was $3,285, compared to $3,870 for white women, $5,485 for minority men, and $8,254 for white men.

64. Beal, “Double Jeopardy,” 91.

65. Giddings, Paula, When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America (New York: William Morrow, 1984), 307–8.

66. Shirley Chisholm, Minority Women and Economic Parity, 2, folder 4, box 3, Shirley Chisholm Papers, MC 1194, Special Collections and University Archives, Alexander Library, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

67. Ibid., 4.

68. Kornbluh, Battle for Welfare Rights, 3; Nadasen, Premilla, Welfare Warriors: The Welfare Rights Movement in the United States (New York: Routledge, 2005), esp. 31–33, 140, 165, 167; Orleck, Annelise, Storming Caesar's Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty (Boston: Beacon, 2005), esp. 149. On the historiography of welfare advocacy, maternalist politics, and the welfare state, see Kornbluh, Felicia A., “Women's History with the Politics Left IN: Feminist Studies of the U.S. Welfare State,” in Exploring Women's Studies: Looking Forward, Looking Back, ed. Berkin, Carole et al. (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006), 236–55.

69. Kornbluh, Battle for Welfare Rights, 89–100.

70. Orleck, Storming Caesar's Palace, 129, 196–203, 210, 254–56.

71. Kornbluh, Battle for Welfare Rights, 96, 100.

72. Williams, Alchemy of Race and Rights, 148, 153–54, 164.

73. Nadasen, Welfare Warriors, 142.

74. The most frequent comment made was that the centers should “be staffed equally by women and men” to guard against the socialization of children in sex stereotypes. See, for example, The Congress to Unite Women, “What do Women Want?” in Congress to Unite Women file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. But references to the wages or training of the workers were exceedingly rare. One pamphlet alone commented that childcare workers' “wages should be equal to those of public school teachers” (ibid). Another article commented on a Massachusetts study highlighting the low salaries paid female staff of childcare centers (“Day Care,” Old Mole, 6).

75. Roberts, Dorothy E., “Spiritual and Menial Housework,” Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 9 (1997): 51.

76. Vinovskis, Maris A., The Birth of Head Start: Preschool Education Policies in the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), esp. 5–7, 9–11, 26–34, 49–52, 60–79, 87–97. See also Berry, Politics of Parenthood, 132–34.

77. Manifesto; Gross, Louise and MacEwan, Phyllis, “On Day Care,” Women: A Journal of Liberation (Winter 1970): 27.

78. Lisa Leghorn, “Child-Care for the Child,” Everywoman, January 22, 1971, 8.

79. Even Shulamith Firestone, one of the radical feminists most critical of motherhood, recognized that women's liberation would depend on the liberation of children from the psychological repression caused by the dependence children experienced within the nuclear family (Firestone, Dialectics of Sex, 81–103); see also Umansky, Motherhood Reconceived, 33–34.

80. Umansky, Motherhood Reconceived, 53–56.

81. Gross and MacEwan, “On Day Care,” 26–27; Leghorn, “Child-Care for the Child,” 18; beverly leman, “liberated child care centers,”off our backs, July 31, 1970, 7; “SE Day Care Lives,” Willamette Bridge, March 18, 1971, 4; Jeanne Ray, “A Children's Police State,” Northwest Passage, January 18, 1971, 8; priscilla zirker, “the politics of day care,” off our backs, July 31, 1970, 8.

82. For a discussion of how the utopian view of childcare contrasted with approaches to childcare as a “patchwork” social service and as a means to realize core social values, see Steinfels, Who's Minding the Children?, 14–15.

83. Greenberg, Polly, The Devil Has Slippery Shoes: A Biased Biography of the Child Development Group of Mississippi (New York: Macmillan, 1969), 3–6, 11–12, 18–19, 28, 30–31, 34–35, 114.

84. Ibid., 59.

85. Ibid., 65.

86. Vinovskis, Birth of Head Start, 97; Greenberg, Slippery Shoes, 306, 311–12. On the history of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, see Ransby, Barbara, Ella Baker & The Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2003). 330–42.

87. Vinovskis, Birth of Head Start, 97–99; Greenberg, Slippery Shoes, 222, 259–60, 271–72, 584–85, 601–4, 610, 656–58.

88. The Black Child Development Institute, “From a Black Perspective: Optimum Conditions for Minority Involvement in Quality Child-Development Programming,” in Child Care—Who Cares?, ed. Roby, Pamela (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 7172.

89. U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, Joint Hearings before the Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower, and Poverty and the Subcommittee on Children and Youth on S. 1512: To Amend the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to Provide for a Comprehensive Child Development Program in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 92nd Cong., 1st Sess., May 13 and 20, 1971, part 1, 368 [hereinafter Economic Opportunity Act S. Hearings] (Statement of BCDI, Inc.).

90. Economic Opportunity Act S. Hearings, 376–77 (BCDI, Inc., Fact Sheet); Economic Opportunity Act S. Hearings, 386–413 (Black Child Development Institute, From a Black Perspective: Optimum Conditions for Minority Involvement in Quality Child Development Programming).

91. Lynden, Patricia, “What Day Care Means to the Children, the Parents, the Teachers, the Community, the President,” New York Times Magazine, February 15, 1970, 88.

92. Ibid., 31, 72, 88.

93. For a discussion of welfare politics in New York City in the late sixties, see Kornbluh, Battle for Welfare Rights, 88–113.

94. In Goldberg v. Kelley, 397 U.S. 254 (1970), the Supreme Court held that New York City's termination of public assistance benefits without a prior evidentiary hearing violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

95. On employer-sponsored childcare from the late 1960s through the 1970s, see Michel, Children's Interests/Mothers' Rights, 264–69; on a second phase of employer-sponsored childcare from the early 1980s through the 1990s (269–74); on for-profit childcare during the 1970 (259–61). For a discussion of the effect of low childcare salaries on turnover among today's childcare workers, see Marcy Whitebook and Sakai, Laura, By a Thread: How Child Care Centers Hold on to Teachers, How Teachers Build Lasting Careers (Kalamazoo, Mich.: W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2004), 7381. For a current economic analysis of the childcare market, see Blau, David M., The Child Care Problem: An Economic Analysis (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2001).

96. “Corporate Baby-Sitting,” Forbes, June 1, 1971, 20.

97. “Day Care,” Old Mole, 7.

98. “The Day Care Busine$$,” Everywoman, March 26, 1971, 15.

99. “Day Care,” Old Mole, 7.

100. florika & gilda, “the politics of day care,” Women: A Journal of Liberation (winter 1970): 31.

101. “fleecing the pre-school sheep,” off our backs, July 31, 1970, 5; “‘Sheep Fleecers’ Confronted by Women's Liberation,” WIN Magazine, July 1970, 29.

102. “fleecing the pre-school sheep,” 5.

103. “Corporate Care for Kids,” Fortune, September 1971, 9–14.

104. “The Day Care Busine$$,” Everywoman, 15 (emphasis in the original).

105. florika & gilda, “the politics of day care,” 30.

106. Ibid.

107. A liberationist journal well summarized this sentiment: “We must understand the need for child care programs which grow out of the needs of a community, not the needs of the government or corporations. Our demand to the government, corporations, and universities should be solely in terms of free space and money” (“Community Day Care,” St. Louis Outlaw, March 5, 1971, 8).

108. Gilmore, Stephanie, “Thinking about Feminist Coalitions,” in Feminist Coalitions: Historical Perspectives on Second-Wave Feminism in the United States, ed. Gilmore, Stephanie (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2008), 18.

109. Benita Roth challenges the idea that “natural divisions” of race and ethnicity yielded separate strands within feminism, but rather focuses on the historically contingent process of identity formation (Separate Roads, 6).

110. Kathy McAfee and Myrna Wood, “What Is the Revolutionary Potential of Women's Liberation?” 15, in New England Free Press file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

111. Letter to Carole, June 9, 1970, folder 7, box 1, Annie Popkin Papers, 89-M204, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

112. Letter from Nancy Hawley and Marya Levenson, “Dear Sisters,” circa 1971, folder 6, box 1, Nancy Grey Osterud Papers, 83-M121—85-M197, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

113. Letter to Carole.

114. “CARASA and Child Care Politics & Program,” 23, in CARASA file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass; “newer people,” Berkeley Tribe, March 19, 1971, 10.

115. “CARASA and Child Care Politics & Program,” 23.

116. The New England Women's Coalition included a large number of groups, both those conventionally labeled “liberal” and “radical” within the historiography of second wave feminism. Coalition members included: Black and Third World Women's Alliance; Boston College Women's Caucus; Boston Women United; Clark University Women's Liberation; Daughters of Bilitis; Female Liberation; Feminist Repertory Theater of Cambridge; High School Women's Liberation; Lexington Women's Liberation #1; Loving Feminist Theater Group; Natick Framingham Women's Liberation; National Organization for Women; Northeastern University Female Liberation; Northshore Feminists; Radcliffe Women to Keep Mind and Body Together; Simmons Women's Liberation; Socialist Workers Party; University of Massachusetts Women's Liberation; Women's Liberation Union of Rhode Island; Women and Imperialism; Women of Brown United; Women Towards Awareness; Worcester Women's Liberation; Young Socialist Alliance; Young Women Committed to Action; Youth Against War and Fascism Women; Vermont Liberty Union (“New England Congress to Unite Women, March 26–28, 1971; “What Is the New England Women's Coalition?”, 1–2, in New England Women's Coalition file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass).

117. Pamphlet, “Help Win Free 24 Hour Child-Care in Cambridge,” in New England Women's Coalition file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

118. Letter from Hanna Takashige and Chris Hildebrand, N.E.W.C.O. Coordinators, to members of the New England Women's Coalition, May 24, 1971, in New England Women's Coalition file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

119. Freeman, Jo, Politics of Women's Liberation: A Case Study of an Emerging Social Movement and Its Relation to the Policy Process (New York: David McKay, 1975), 242. The referendum nevertheless remained on the ballot and passed, but Cambridge did not follow through on the mandate to provide childcare (Umansky, Motherhood Reconceived, 49).

120. With 500 members in the Boston area, NOW was the largest and the only national organization of the twenty-nine groups that belonged to the Coalition (“N.O.W. Quits the N. E. Lib Coalition,” Boston Evening Globe, April 13, 1971, 37, folder 231, box 6, Boston N.O.W. Records, 77-M13–96-M48, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass).

121. The Children's Center, Inc., opened in September 1970 in Brookline, Massachusetts. “N.O.W. Boston—President's Report,” February 1970, folder 14, box 1, Boston N.O.W. Records, 77-M13—96-M48, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University; Women's Liberation Newsletter, November 18, 1969, folder 38°, box 2, Annie Popkin Papers, 89–M204, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; Women's Liberation Newsletter, May 1970, folder 38°, box 2 (ibid). Letter from Joan B. Mattuck to N.O.W. members, August 12, 1970, folder 3, box 1, Boston N.O.W. Records, 77-M13—96-M48, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; “Retrospective,” folder 3, box 1, Boston N.O.W. Records, 77-M13—96-M48, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

122. Cobble, Dorothy Sue, The Other Women's Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2004), 133–41, 162, 182.

123. “Political Tendencies in the Movement,” 2, in “Cell 16” file, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

124. The centers included: “a $1 million center in Baltimore for 235 children; one in Staunton, Va. for 250; in Chambersburg, Pa., for 300; in Hanover, Pa., for 80; and a fifth … being built in McConnellsburg, Pa” (“bread and day care,” off our backs, February 12, 1971, 15).

125. “Corporate Baby-Sitting,” 19.

126. “Wayne State Wet-in,” The Fifth Estate, May 13, 1971, 10.

127. Carson, Barbara, “WSU Day Care,” The Fifth Estate, June 3, 1971, 2.

128. “Contra Costa Students Set Up Child Care,” Freedom News 4, December 1970, 36.

129. Untitled article, Ann Arbor Sun, October 15, 1971, 3; Chris Polivka, “Day Care: An Offshoot of C.P.E.,” Edcentric, May 1971, 25; “Closing Merritt Child Care,” Berkeley Tribe, July 9, 1971, 2; “Merritt,” Berkeley Tribe, July 30, 1971, 3; “Day Care,” Old Mole, 6; “PSU Day Care,” Willamette Bridge, June 24, 1971, 3; “ASUO Child Care Center—‘Not just a place to dump your kids’” Augur, December 3, 1970, 10; Letter from Kathy Jenkins to the Women's Action Alliance, reply sent April 19, 1973, folder 9, box 111, Women's Action Alliance Records, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.; “Child Care Victory at Foothill,” Free You, December 9, 1970, 21.

130. leman, “liberated child care centers,” 7; “Day Care,” Old Mole, 6; Judy Pope, “Day Care: Who Pays?” D.C. Gazette, September 20, 1971, 5.

131. Strobel, Margaret, “Organizational Learning in the Chicago Women's Liberation Union,” in Feminist Organizations: Harvest of the New Women's Movement, ed. Ferree, Myra Marx and Martin, Patricia Yancee (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995), 148–49.

132. Hyde Park Chapter, CWLU, “Socialist Feminism—A Strategy for the Women's Movement,” 10, Chicago Women's Liberation Union File, microformed on Vertical File Series, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

133. Evans, Tidal Wave, 85.

134. “Socialist Feminism—A Strategy for the Women's Movement,” 18.

135. Ibid., 15–18.

136. “Women's Action Alliance Progress Report,” July 31, 1972, folder 10, box 14, Women's Action Alliance Records, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

137. “Socialist Feminism—A Strategy for the Women's Movement,” 16.

138. In early 1971, the Los Angeles Women's Legislative Action held a childcare conference attended by 400 people and planned a follow-up hearing with the Mexican American community and congressional representatives from Watts (Letter from Betty Willett to Bella Abzug, February 14, 1971, folder: Child Care Correspondence 1970–1971, box 138, Bella Abzug Papers, Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University, New York).

139. U.S. Congress, House Committee on Education and Labor, Hearings before the Select Subcommittee on Education on H.R. 6748 and Related Bills: To Provide a Comprehensive Child Development Program in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 92nd Cong., 1st Sess., May 17, 21 and June 3, 1971, 64 [hereinafter House Hearings].

140. Ibid.

141. House Hearings, 65, 73. Abzug testified: “To provide comprehensive educational and health services for every child under 5 would cost us almost $28 billion annually. Such figures seem ‘unrealistic’ to us only because we have learned to give human needs low budgetary priority. We spend upwards of $70 billion a year on weapons and defense, and no one bats an eye” (ibid., 63).

142. “High Points of the Chisholm-Abzug Child Care Bill,” 3, folder: Child Care Abzug – Legislation, box 140, Bella Abzug Papers; House Hearings, 65, 66.

143. House Hearings, 66.

144. “High Points of the Chisholm-Abzug Child Care Bill,” 3.

145. Ibid., 4.

146. House Hearings, 65, 75; “High Points of the Chisholm-Abzug Child Care Bill,” 3.

147. Morgan, “Child of the Sixties,” 226.

148. “High Points of the Chisholm-Abzug Child Care Bill,” 3.

149. Morgan, “Child of the Sixties,” 221–22.

150. For the quote from the veto message, see Richard Nixon, “Veto of the Economic Opportunity Amendments of 1971,” December 10, 1971, in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States (Washington, D.C.: Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Service, 1971), 1177. For information on Buchanan's authorship of the draft veto message, see Berry, Politics of Parenthood, 138–39; Hoff, Joan, Nixon Reconsidered (New York: Basic Books, 1994), 112.

151. In the leading revisionist history of President Nixon, Joan Hoff argues that the Family Assistance Plan was the most innovative and comprehensive piece of welfare reform advanced by a U.S. president (Nixon Reconsidered, 128–37). David Greenberg, however, persuasively challenges the revisionist depiction of Nixon as pursuing a liberal domestic policy agenda (Nixon's Shadow: The History of an Image [New York: W. W. Norton, 2003], 304–37).

152. Morgan, “Child of the Sixties,” 225, 231–32.

153. Ibid., 232–33.

154. Michel, Children's Interests/Mothers' Rights, 249–51.

155. “High Points of the Chisholm-Abzug Child Care Bill,” 1, 3; House Hearings, 63, 74.

156. House of Representatives Conference Report No. 92–682, Economic Opportunity Amendments of 1971, 92nd Cong, 1st Sess., 18.

157. Morgan, “Child of the Sixties,” 226–31. Although Morgan has explored the connection between the sponsorship unit size and the defeat of the CCDA in the greatest detail, Sonya Michel was the first to make this link (Children's Interests /Mothers' Rights, 249).

158. Morgan, “Child of the Sixties,” 240.

159. For an argument that the cultural meanings of legislation, as well as the status of the groups arguing for that legislation, influence decision making by political elites, see Skretny, John D., The Minority Rights Revolution (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002), 916, 345–53.

160. A December 1971 document titled the “Administration's Position Concerning the Issue of Day Care” lamented that the CCDA “promised all that the women's liberation and civil rights groups wanted” (Morgan, “Child of the Sixties,” 233).

161. Letter by Rep. Tom Pelly (R-WA), “Our Freedoms Threatened by Child Care Program,” October 13, 1971, folder 5, box 77, National Defense Committee Papers, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington, D.C.

162. “Nixon Must Veto Child Control Law,” Human Events, October 9, 1971, 1, 10.

163. Ibid.; Letter by Rep. John G. Schmitz (R-CA), “Federal Child Control Act Passed,” October 13, 1971, folder 5, box 77, National Defense Committee Papers, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington, D.C.

164. Lassiter, Matthew D., “Inventing Family Values,” in Rightward Bound: Making America Conservative in the 1970s, ed. Schulman, Bruce J. and Zelizer, Julian E. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008), 1417.

165. Nixon, “Veto,” 1176.

166. See, generally, Michel, Children's Interests/Mothers' Rights, 236–80.

167. Simkin, Carol Faye, “Child Care and Household Expense Tax Deduction Under the New Section 214: Is This Really the Reform We Were Waiting for?” Women's Rights Law Reporter 1 (3) (1972): 1517.

168. anne, “who gets child care?” Great Speckled Bird, December 20, 1971, 19. Nearly the identical article, containing only minor stylistic changes, also appeared in at least two additional newspapers; see “News Briefs,” St. Louis Outlaw, January 21, 1972, 8; “Who Did Nixon Help?” Northwest Passage, January 24, 1972, 24.

169. Simkin, “Child Care and Household Expense Tax Deduction,” 18 and note 16.

170. Ibid., 17.

171. Ibid., 18.

172. Ibid., 23

173. Ibid. 28 and notes 73–74. Federal policy encouraging poor women on social assistance to act as service providers to other needy families has a longer history, with precedents in New Deal labor policies and postwar welfare reforms focused on work requirements. For a discussion of the creation of a labor market for homecare workers within the welfare state, see Boris, Eileen and Klein, Jennifer, “Organizing Home Care: Low-Waged Workers in the Welfare State,” Politics and Society 34 (1) (2006): 81107.

174. Patricia S. Caplan, press release, “Children will lobby for child care,” folder 219, box 6, Boston N.O.W. Records, 77-M13—96-M48, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

175. Letter from the National Organization of Women Eastern Massachusetts Chapter, Julia Wan Vice President, Susan L. Kannenberg, Program Chairwoman, “Dear Friend,” January 16, 1972, folder 197, box 6, Boston N.O.W. Records, 77-M13—96-M48, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. When the governor signed a tax deduction into law that would benefit over 220,000 families in fiscal year 1975, a state representative complimented the chapter for its “invaluable” lobbying work over the past two years (Letter from Lois G. Pines, State Representative, to Terry Stone, N.O.W., folder 468, box 13, Boston N.O.W. Records, 77-M13—96-M48, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass).

176. Creamer, Day and Booth, Heather, “Action Committee for Decent Childcare: Organizing for Power,” Women: A Journal of Liberation 2 (4) (1972): 78.

177. Evans, Tidal Wave, 85–86.

178. “about daycare licensing, funding & regulations,” Ain't I a Woman, February 1973, 12–13.

179. “about us,” Ain't I a Woman, February 1973, 1. Mothers argued that their “choice” to have children did not absolve childless women of responsibility for childcare. Social pressures, lack of access to quality contraception and affordable and safe abortions, and an inability to anticipate all that motherhood involved made that choice illusory (“Women and Children,” Ain't I a Woman, February 11, 1972, 6–7; “mother's manifesto,” Ain't I a Woman, February 1973, 2–3).

180. “what i wrote for this issue on daycare from what i can remember about how i saw it,” Ain't I a Woman, February 1973, 4–5.

181. “mother's manifesto,” 2.

182. “what i wrote for this issue on daycare,” 4.

183. “a lesbian mother speaks,” Ain't I a Woman, February 1973, 17.

184. “congress ruthless children roofless” off our backs, October 1972, 5.

185. For a positive account of the place of revenue sharing in Nixon's New Federalism, see Hoff, Nixon Reconsidered, 69–73.

186. Bolton, Lala, “Day Care Struggle Wins Small Gains,” City Star, September 1974, 3.

187. “Daycare cuts,” Liberated Guardian, July 1972, 15 (arguing that city and state policy “further oppresses working-class mothers by denying them a viable alternative to staying home with their children. At the same time it totally denies welfare mothers the right to adequate care for their children.”); “N.Y.C. Daycare Under Attack … Fight the Fee Scale!” Liberated Guardian, February 1973, 7, (arguing that the new childcare policies “(1) separate the very poor from everyone else, weakening our unity and power (2) keep the poor, poor and (3) keep women and children ‘in their place’”); Gray, Laura, “Governments Move to Cut Back NYC Day Care,” Workers' Power, March 30, 1973, 5.

188. “New York Daycare Cuts: Kids Lose Again,” Liberated Guardian, January 1972, 15.

189. “Lindsay's Office Occupied for Child Care,” Goodbye to All That, February 3, 1972, 4; for essentially the same account of the protest, also see “New York Day Care Supporters Win Demand After Occupation of Lindsay's Campaign Headquarters,” Everywoman, March 1972, 1.

190. “Lindsay's Office Occupied,” 4.

191. Sylvia, “New York Daycare Fight: A Few Victories and a Growing Strength,” Liberated Guardian, February 1972, 6; “Day Care Struggle Wins Small Gains,” 3.

192. See “Daycare Cuts,” 15; Clara Mits, “Parents Fight Attempts to Raise Day Care Fees,” Workers' Power, February 16, 1973, 5; Gray, “Governments Move to Cut,” 5; “Day Care Struggle Wins Small Gains,” 3; L. B. M., “Gov. Wilson Tries to Slash Daycare Funds,” City Star April 1974, 8. Lisel Burns, “Day Care Wins a Battle,” City Star, October 1974, 3.

193. In Atlanta, the Model Cities program housed within the mayor's office had the power to disburse all federal, state, and local funds for childcare. In the winter of 1974, Model Cities leveraged its monetary authority to force community day care centers to sign contracts giving Model Cities greater authority over teaching policy, personnel decisions, and publicity about the centers (“Bond Daycare Strangling in Red Tape,” Great Speckled Bird, March 4, 1974, 4).

194. “Angela Davis Day-Care Center Raided,” The Black Panther January 29, 1972, 9.

195. Ibid., 18.

196. “Albina Childcare,” Augur, March 8, 1974, 12.

197. Ibid.; see also “Childcare Workers Fired,” Worker's Power, February 18, 1972, 9; “The Child Care Industry,” Rising Up Angry, October 13, 1974, 8, 15. On the imperative for union organizing of childcare workers, today, see Whitebook and Sakai, By a Thread, 102–3, 108–9.

198. Mits, “Parents Fight,” 5.

199. Brown argues that rights “must be specific and concrete to reveal and redress women's subordination, yet potentially entrench our subordination through that specificity; … emancipate us to pursue other political ends while subordinating those political ends to liberal discourse” (“Suffering the Paradoxes of Rights,” 430).

200. Ibid., 432.

201. Franke, Katherine M., “Taking Care,” Chicago-Kent Law Review 76 (2001): 1541–56.

202. Feminists' oppositional visions for childcare's purpose and meaning suggests that rights consciousness had the potential to advance a more profound critique of political economy than scholars have recognized. On the shift in American liberalism from an early New Deal concern with class and production to a post–World War II concern with consumption, rights, and liberties, see Brinkley, Alan, The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War (New York: Knopf, 1995). For the related argument that sixties rights' consciousness shifted American liberalism away from collective organizing toward individual rights, see Lichtenstein, Nelson, State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2002).

203. Jennifer Mittelstadt, for example, identifies the period between 1943 and 1945 as one in which welfare reformers sought to explode the categories organizing public assistance under the Social Security Act, abolishing Aid to Dependent Children and other categorical programs and replacing them with an ambitious program of universal, noncategorical assistance available to any person in need; see Mittelstadt, From Welfare to Workfare, 21–39.

204. For a sampling of feminist scholarship discussing the contemporary legal and political regimes that structure caregiving, see Fineman, Autonomy Myth; Williams, Joan, Unbending Gender: Why Work and Family Conflict and What to Do About It (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000). These works do not explore the history that underpins today's work-family conflict.

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