A Critique of the Miss America Pageant (1968)

1946-1989, Consciousness Raising, Date, Defining the Enemy, Disruptive Spaces, Institutions, Patriarchy, Subjectives of Refusal, Tactics of Disruption, Women

The Miss America Pageant Protest marked a turning point for the Women’s Liberation Movement, because the media coverage of the event itself exposed the American public to the existence of the movement. With a focus on the goal of consciousness-raising, author Carol Hanisch analyzes the successes and failures of the protest. While the protest was motivated by a collective realization of the formative nature of the pageant for all women, Hanisch notes that one major error that was made during the event was that it came across as anti-womanism in a sense. This piece articulates the importance of goal-oriented protest, and the correct identification of an enemy. Moreover, the goal of consciousness-raising takes on a powerful form during this event.

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