Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook

By Jennifer Scanlon | Go to book overview

OLGA MADAR
(1915-1996)

Amy Beth Aronson

At the 1974 founding convention of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), president-elect Olga Madar said that "one result of this meeting is that fewer and fewer union women will be saying 'we are not women's libbers.' By coming here, they have proved that they are" ( Gabin 1990, 226). Madar's statement reflects--and hopes to resolve--the historical class antagonisms that have infected organized feminism in America almost since its origins in 1848. Through all of Madar's public activities--a life of activism that included being the first woman member of the International Executive Board of the United Auto Workers (UAW), a founder or organizer of several influential feminist organizations, a reformer of racial discrimination in sports, a champion of environmental protection, a proponent of consumer protection laws, and an advocate for the aging--she negotiated the sometimes-competing claims of unionism and feminism, all in the name of "democracy." In doing so, her perspective and political work helped redefine the agendas of both movements, pressing them toward a fuller recognition of equality.

Madar is best known for her leadership role in the founding of CLUW. Originally conceived as a lobbying organization comprising women labor union officials--an institutional structure criticized by some as elitist ( Withorn 1976; Field 1975), careerist ( Withorn 1976), or too much an insider's game to fulfill the need for a broad-based workingwoman's organization ( Milkman 1985)-- CLUW today consists of well over 20,000 members, with more than 60 local chapters across the United States. At the founding conference held in 1973, 3,200 women and some men--many more than were anticipated--crowded into the Pick-Congress Hotel in Chicago and adopted the four goals that remain at the core of CLUW: to strengthen the role and participation of women within their unions and the trade union movement; to seek affirmative action in the workplace; to organize the millions of unorganized women workers; and to encourage union women to play an active role in the democratic process.

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Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Editorial Board ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Bella Abzug (1920-1998) 1
  • Paula Gunn Allen (1939-) 8
  • Gloria AnzaldÚa (1942-) 14
  • Frances Beale (1940-) 22
  • Rita Mae Brown (1944-) 28
  • Charlotte Bunch (1944-) 36
  • Pat Califia (1954-) 44
  • Judy Chicago (1939-) 51
  • Shirley Chisholm (1924-) 55
  • Esther Ngan-Ling Chow (1943-) 60
  • Pearl Cleage (1948-) 66
  • Kate Clinton (1945- ) 73
  • Mary Daly (1928- ) 79
  • Angela Davis (1944-) 86
  • Shulamith Firestone (1945-) 98
  • Jo Freeman (1945-) 104
  • Betty Friedan (1921-) 111
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-) 118
  • Bell Hooks (1952- ) 125
  • Dolores Huerta (1930-) 133
  • June Jordan (1936-) 138
  • Evelyn Fox Keller (1936-) 145
  • Florynce Kennedy (1916-) 150
  • Audre Lorde (1934-1992) 156
  • Catharine Mackinnon (1946-) 163
  • Olga Madar (1915-1996) 174
  • Wilma Mankiller (1945-) 181
  • Del Martin (1921-) 188
  • Kate Millett (1934- ) 194
  • CherrÍe Moraga (1952- ) 201
  • Robin Morgan (1941-) 206
  • Pauli Murray (1910-1985) 213
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (1937-) 218
  • Alice Paul (1885-1977) 223
  • Anna Quindlen (1952-) 231
  • Adrienne Rich (1929-) 238
  • Faith Ringgold (1930-) 245
  • Rosemary Ruether (1936-) 251
  • Joanna Russ (1937-) 257
  • Patricia Schroeder (1940-) 264
  • Eleanor Smeal (1939-) 271
  • Barbara Smith (1946-) 279
  • Gloria Steinem (1934-) 283
  • Margo St. James (1937-) 290
  • Alice Walker (1944- ) 297
  • Rebecca Walker (1969-) 305
  • Michele Wallace (1952-) 311
  • Sarah Weddington (1945-) 317
  • Ellen Willis (1941-) 327
  • Selected Bibliography 335
  • Index 341
  • About the Editor and Contributors 355
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