The gendered expectations of the masculinist political establishment of the long 1960s made it difficult for women to define their own unique terrain as politicians. Even with the guarantee of formal political rights firmly in place, women's status as second class citizens persisted throughout the long 1960s. Often, women were forced into frames that defined their political interests around their embodied sex, rather than the needs of their constituents. This imagined construction of women as a separate subject class established a fundamentally unequal platform for women's participation as first class citizens of the United States. While ideological differences between male politicians were accepted as the normal business of a two party political system, women in Congress were frequently expected to form a politically coherent coalition around issues of sex equality. Feminism during the long 1960s provided little relief from this rigid construction of women's political interests. With the growing popularity of second wave feminism's imagined "sisterhood" for all women, female politicians were increasingly defined by their relationship--or lack thereof--to the women's movement by feminists and anti-feminists alike. This single issue framework, however, had little historical precedent as an accurate barometer of women's real political concerns and alliances.
"Imagining Women in U.S. Politics: The Problem of Sisterhood in the Long 1960s,"
The Hilltop Review: Vol. 5
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/hilltopreview/vol5/iss2/2