Searching for Scientific Womanpower: Technocratic Feminism and the Politics of National Security, 1940-1980
This compelling history of what Laura Micheletti Puaca terms "technocratic feminism" traces contemporary feminist interest in science to the World War II and early Cold War years. During a period when anxiety about America's supply of scientific personnel ran high and when open support for women's rights generated suspicion, feminist reformers routinely invoked national security rhetoric and scientific "manpower" concerns in their efforts to advance women's education and employment. Despite the limitations of this strategy, it laid the groundwork for later feminist reforms in both science and society. The past and present manifestations of technocratic feminism also offer new evidence of what has become increasingly recognized as a "long women's movement."
Drawing on an impressive array of archival collections and primary sources, Puaca brings to light the untold story of an important but largely overlooked strand of feminist activism. This book reveals much about the history of American feminism, the politics of national security, and the complicated relationship between the two.
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AAUW activities American Association American Women Archives Arthur Flemming AWIS Barnard Barnard College Beatrice Hicks career Cold Cold War Committee Conference Dean Dean’s December defense education and employment efforts Encouraging Women enrollment Equal Rights Amendment Estelle Ramey federal female engineers female scientists female students Feminine Mystique feminist Flemming folder Gildersleeve girls graduate Harding Papers Hicks high school Ibid interest January Kennedy Kistiakowsky Lillian Gilbreth Lillian Moller Gilbreth male manpower concerns Mary Ingraham Bunting National Science Foundation national security PCSW percent postwar president Ramey Report research and development Rossiter Schlesinger Library Science and Engineering scientific fields scientific womanpower Scientists in America shortage Sigma Delta Epsilon Society of Women society’s Soviet Status of Women SWE members SWE Newsletter SWE Records unprocessed SWE’s talent technocratic feminism technocratic feminists tion University Virginia Gildersleeve wartime woman Women Engineers Women in Science Women’s Bureau women’s education women’s organizations York Zapoleon