Belabored Podcast #62: The Unfinished History of Labor Feminism

Belabored Podcast #62: The Unfinished History of Labor Feminism

This week, Belabored is all about labor feminism, with Feminism Unfinished authors Dorothy Sue Cobble, Linda Gordon, and Astrid Henry. Plus: labor joins the protests in Hong Kong, college students take on Teach for America, and more.

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The feminist movement has been taken to task many times for being too white, too middle class, too focused on solutions that would help elite women. But in a new book, short and jam-packed with forgotten history, Dorothy Sue Cobble, Linda Gordon, and Astrid Henry argue that actually, the feminist movement has always been multiple feminist movements, and many feminists did their work within and through other social movements like labor and the civil rights movement.

Michelle joined Cobble, Gordon, and Henry for the launch of Feminism Unfinished and this week we bring you excerpts from their talks at this event, plus a discussion of what feminists have accomplished in and out of the workplace, and what remains unfinished.

We also bring you news from the protests and strikes in Hong Kong, a roundup of living wage initiatives, a challenge to Wisconsin’s minimum wage law, and a student protest against Teach for America. For Argh, we continue our discussion of women’s workplace history, and think a little about gentrification.


Michelle: 10,000 Workers Strike in Support of Hong Kong’s Protests (The Nation)

College Students Wage Campaign to Kick Teach for America Off of Campus (ColorLines)

Will de Blasio’s big raise for low-wage workers encourage other cities to follow suit? (Washington Post)

Los Angeles Approves Raising Minimum Wage for Large-Hotel Workers (Wall Street Journal)

Low-Wage Workers Confront Scott Walker, Accuse Wisconsin Of Breaking The Law (ThinkProgress)


Feminism Unfinished: A Short, Surprising History of American Women’s Movements

Dorothy Sue Cobble, Distinguished Professor of History and Labor Studies, Rutgers University

Articles in Dissent

Linda Gordon, University Professor of the Humanities, New York University
Workers’ Rights and Women’s Rights Go Hand in Hand (The Progressive)

Astrid Henry, Louise R. Noun Professor of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, Grinnell College
From riot grrrls to “Girls”: Tina Fey, Kathleen Hanna, Lena Dunham and the birth of an inspiring new feminism (Salon)

Feminism’s ugly internal clash: Why its future is not up to white women (Salon)

Michelle: Romney-Rosen Firestorm Is Reminder: We Need to Redefine Gender Justice (In These Times)

Sarah: Trickle-Down Feminism (Dissent)

Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!

Sarah: Bryce Covert, Here’s What Happened The One Time When The U.S. Had Universal Childcare (ThinkProgress)

Michelle: Gavin Mueller, Liberalism and Gentrification (Jacobin)

Special thanks to New York University for hosting the “Feminism Unfinished” panel and providing the audio recording for this episode.