Ann Fitzgerald

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 1979


...At the Bernice Reagon/Meg Christian concert on Friday evening, a young KU woman sitting beside me asked, pointing to the audience: "Do you all teach women's studies?" I hesitated, choosing my words carefully: "We are all women's studies educators with both of those terms taken in the widest sense. We represent...." I stopped, realizing that I could not say that we represent the various professions, though in a technical sense some of us did. I stopped, because in the aggregate it was not true; most of us had not come together to represent either professional or institutional affiliations. I was beginning to see NWSA as a political Association for the first time.

I thought back to San Francisco: the debates on the floor; the unremitting efforts of each group to establish its voice. I began to realize the ways in which NWSA was different from other professional associations. The Convention was closer in format and feel to the various women's groups of which I have been a part. I saw that we had come together to advance feminist ideology, to affirm and refine our relationship to the movement, to share our resources, to "go national" together. We owed no allegiance as a body to any particular discipline or institution; we were in Kansas because we shared, however pluralistically, a common political vision. Education was our primary strategy for change, binding us and providing a common reason for participation.



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