Significant Contemporary American Feminists: A Biographical Sourcebook

By Jennifer Scanlon | Go to book overview

PATRICIA SCHROEDER
(1940-)

John R. Nealis

Patricia Schroeder retired from her post as the longest-serving woman in the U.S. House of Representatives in December of 1996. She represented the First Congressional District of Colorado, having been first elected to that post in 1972 and subsequently reelected eleven times. She was referred to as the "ultra-liberal's ultra liberal" ( Spencer 1995, 15) and as a maverick. Schroeder was an outspoken leader within the Democratic party and a national leader on subjects as far ranging as gun control, education, foreign policy, disarmament, women's economic equity and health, constitutional rights, and national policies affecting children, women, and families. Her service on Congressional committees included first female member of the Armed Services Committee, member of the House Judiciary Committee, and chair of the House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families. In this last role she was only the fourth woman this century to chair a House Committee. She has also been a Democratic whip since 1978.

One of Patricia Schroeder's most important contributions to the women's movement was as founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, a group that has grown, through Schroeder's influence, to number 150 members of Congress and to serve as a significant lobbying force. Often critical of sexist traditions in Congress, Schroeder commented that "women are still outside the 'Boy's Club' Congress" and that she and her female colleagues "have not been let into the 'Billionaire Boys' Club' yet" ( Ferraro, July 1, 1990). Nevertheless, regardless of the odds against her as a woman in politics, Patricia Schroeder has left a strong presence in the Congress and shaped many national policies through legislative change. Her key bills dealt with women, family issues, and civil rights, and included the significant Family and Medical Leave Bill.

In addition to her long tenure in the House, Schroeder made her mark by running for President of the United States in 1987. Gender was a key issue in this brief and exploratory campaign. Schroeder noted later, "There was a tendency, from the very beginning, for the press to categorize me as a 'women's

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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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