Pretty, Angry: Feminism and Protest from Miss America to #MeToo

04/05/2018 @ 7:00 pm
Boundary Bay Brewery

At the Miss America pageant in 1968, activists descended on Atlantic City to protest what they saw as the event’s objectification of women. Though the protesters only numbered several hundred, their ideas and outrage—and the widely televised reach of the event they disrupted—propelled the next wave of feminism to the national spotlight, resulting in major changes to attitudes and laws.

Exactly fifty years later women’s anger has taken a different form, this time focused less on public spectacles than private moments. It’s a movement calling attention to sexual assault, harassment and similar abuses that often happen in the quiet corners of offices, big box stores and movie studios. The #MeToo movement is emerging as the tip of a new feminist moment, a movement that also includes the Women’s March (considered the largest single-day protest in US history), and the unprecedented numbers of women running for office.

But as one of the organizers of the Miss America protest said, “I thought that the things we accomplished would stick—not that they would be always in danger.” Will #MeToo and other new efforts bring about lasting social changes, or are they mostly a hyped-up hashtag? Join us as we explore the last 50 years of women’s political and social power in America. Featuring Amy Peloff, University of Washington professor; Vicki Hsueh, the Director of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies program at Western Washington University; and Joy Wiggins, Western Washington University professor and director of Global Peaceful Paths.

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