Box 21 Folder 5

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Contains newsletters froom UF Campus NOW and Florida NOW from 1973-1976, 1978, and 1980.[1]

Overview

The period of the 1970s saw an explosion of feminist organizing and other progressive activism. Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, President Nixon resigned after Watergate in 1974, skyrocketing oil prices in 1973 and 1979, and the Vietnam War was raged abroad and on campuses until 1975; Social conditions were perfect for counterculture movements to flourish. NOW chapters were founded in many towns and actions and meetings began to organize for women's equality. Gainesville NOW was one of those first chapters to hold its first meeting on October 11, 1972.[2] This folder spans early newsletters from Gainesville NOW and Campus NOW beginning in 1973. This folder is crucial to our understanding of the chapter as it contains the earliest records of its history.

To what I've identified, the archive does not contain any documents from 1972-1973 in the Gainesville area. Either the chapters did not publish a newsletter during this time or the newsletters were lost; information about their actions pre-Roe is not within the current scope of this archive. As each local chapter must register with the NOW state office, there may be more information contained within the folders of the archive directly relating to the state office of Florida NOW, but are no documents in the current collection that identify why the organization formed and which women applied to start a chapter.

During this period, the newsletters do not differentiate between Gainesville NOW and UF Campus NOW events or members. In some examples Campus NOW events are announced, but people are not matched with either organization. Either Gainesville NOW viewed Campus NOW as an arm of the larger organization, or both chapters operated in parallel on similar issues. It seems as though Gainesville NOW directed Campus NOW actions during the early 1970s, but eventually Gainesville and Campus NOW groups split in February 1976. The newsletter indicates that this split was mutual, but there were high tensions between members at first. Both organizations decided to focus solely on their own issues awhile still allowing members to cross over and attend the other meetings. Both organizations worked to address the same political platforms, but Campus NOW was interested in Student Senate politics and anti-rape organizing while Gainesville NOW members focused on city politics and the Job Discrimination Task Force. [3] Before the split, Gainesville NOW directed Campus NOW's platform and decided on which issues were important to address. After the split, Campus NOW was more independent.

The early actions that Gainesville NOW was involved in relate to activism around Florida Blue Key's policy prohibiting women from joining the fraternity,[4][5][6][7] ERA activism, the founding of the Gainesville Women's Health Center in 1974,[8] opening of Women Unlimited, and abortion rights actions.

This folder contains a few newsletters with sections of humor at the expense of men - an aspect that is not as prominent in other newsletters from the Gainesville area after the mid-1970s. Comics, poems, and satirical essays are placed between internal chapter business and upcoming events without context. "Men, don't feel left out. Now you too can avoid embarrassing scrotal odor. One tingling spray of the new scrotal hygiene mist and your balls smell fresh all day. No more embarrassment of "offending" with bad ball odor..." and "How to prepare a nine course meal fit for a queen with no bother, worry or fuss: HAVE HIM DO IT ALL."[9] After 1973, the newsletters are more formulaic and explain upcoming events and policies, but there is not as much uncensored commentary from members in this manner.

Document list

  • Document 1 - April 1973 newsletter with results from Gainesville NOW officer election, a demonstration against Florida Blue Key, and commentary.
  • Document 2 - June 1973 newsletter discussing the Gainesville City Commission race, NOW Southern Regional conference, upcoming events, and commentary.
  • Document 3 - July 1973 newsletter discussing Florida Blue Key demonstrations in the news, a protest against a local car dealer, club finances, Girl Scouts, events, and commentary.
  • Document 4 - August 1973 newsletter with upcoming events, Florida NOW nominating committee election results, and a lengthy club member directory.
  • Document 5 - September 1973 newsletter with information and commentary about the ERA, Florida NOW State Conference, and an announcement of meeting format changes.
  • Document 6 - October 1973 newsletter discussing club business, housing discrimination in Gainesville, and Gwen Cherry's bid for UF president.
  • Document 7 - Flyer attached with the previous newsletter advertising a speech from Jane Fonda at a meeting on October 11, 1973.
  • Document 8 - November 1973 newsletter discussing Christmas events, the results from the Florida Blue Key protests, club business, national NOW news, and an upcoming address from Gwen Cherry.
  • Document 9 - Gainesville NOW chapter by laws dated September 25, 1973.
  • Document 10 - January 1974 newsletter with upcoming events including abortion and Florida Blue Key protests, the re-founding of Redstockings, a male consciousness raising beauty pageant, and a letter to the editor.
  • Document 11 - February 1974 newsletter with upcoming chapter events, an announcement of a new chapter office, Florida Blue Key petition updates, ERA news and information, Rape Information and Counseling Service recruitment, upcoming conference about women in management, abortion protests, and commentary.
  • Document 12 - Newsletter from March 1974 discussing upcoming chapter events, ERA organizing with GO-ERA, Gainesville City Hall hearings about employment discrimination, Florida NOW financial issues and a pause in newsletter distribution, announcement of a poetry contest, and a chronology of how the chapter received office space in the Reitz Union.
  • Document 13 - April 1974 newsletter with upcoming events, recap of recent visit from Wilma Scott Heide, officer election results, ERA activism efforts, Reitz Union office space changes, Florida Blue Key protest efforts, announcement of the founding of the Gainesville Women's Health Center, information about the Women's Walk-In Counseling Service and the Rape Information and Counseling Service at UF, national and regional conference information, letter to the editor, and updates about abortion organizing.
  • Document 14 - Newsletter dated June 1974 from Gainesville NOW with a calendar of events, an upcoming informal meeting with Beverly Dozier, a conference recap and a contested election, the upcoming Tallahassee Women's Conference, event about rape awareness and prevention, the meeting of the Florida Women's Political Caucus, the addition of a phone to the chapter office, news from the men's consciousness-raising group, an upcoming film showing, a discussion about sex discrimination, a political comic with the Peanuts characters, calls for volunteering for chapter positions, a list of new members, and a call for volunteers at the newly opened Gainesville Women's Health Center.
  • Document 15 - Newsletter from September 1974 with information about upcoming events, Florida Blue Key protest updates, conference information, letter to the editor about an internship in Washington DC, and a member contact list.
  • Document 16 - July 1974 newsletter with upcoming events and meetings, and an announcement about publication of A Woman's Place.
  • Document 17 - October 1974 newsletter discussing upcoming events, anti-rape protest, recap of the Women's Renaissance Festival, recap of a meeting with Assistant Attorney General Sharyn Smith, Affirmative Action Coordinator hiring at UF, updates about a women's studies program at UF, and a poem.
  • Document 18 - February 1975 newsletter with upcoming events, ERA rally information, and commentary.
  • Document 19 - March 1975 newsletter discussing upcoming events, ERA rally updates, commentary, and dues updates.
  • Document 20 - April 1975 newsletter with upcoming events, ERA information, an announcement of Alyce McAdam's campaign for UF Student Body President, announcement of Women Unlimited, and dues reminders.
  • Document 21 - June 1975 newsletter discussing upcoming events, office space at Women Unlimited, commentary about sisterhood with the NAACP, chapter election results, meeting topics, the NOW State Conference, world and local news, and the chapter treasurer report.
  • Document 22 - July 1975 newsletter with upcoming events, business meeting minutes, commentary on a national NOW split, Title IX updates, chapter task force updates, and NOW State Conference planning.
  • Document 23 - August 1975 newsletter with upcoming events, a recap of a speech, chapter task force updates, updates from the FWPC, Women Against Violence Against Women Week plans, upcoming seminars, meeting minutes, national and state news, International Women's Year conference updates, Florida NOW statement of purpose, a book review, and a poem.
  • Document 24 - December 1, 1975 newsletter with information about task force meetings, upcoming events, conference news, and the opening of the Florida Feminist Credit Union.
  • Document 25 - January 1976 newsletter with information about changes in chapter leadership, Task Force reports, open advisory board positions in Gainesville City Hall, event recaps, and a calendar of upcoming events.
  • Document 26 - February 1976 newsletter discussing the chapter's sports task force, upcoming events, commentary, intra-group fighting in national NOW, a split between Gainesville NOW and UF Campus NOW, other task force updates, and an announcement of the first Southeastern Women's Health Conference.
  • Document 27 - March 12, 1973 newsletter with information about ERA logistics, upcoming events, commentary, a recipe, news about Native American women, and officer elections.
  • Document 28 - February 1976 newsletter with information about upcoming events, UF Campus NOW updates, the chapter's men consciousness raising group statement of purpose, ERA organizing updates, humorous commentary, and membership updates.
  • Document 29 - March 1978 newsletter with ERA updates, office updates, commentary about sex, news from Florida NOW, and legislative updates.
  • Document 30 - November 1978 newsletter with information about state legislation, upcoming workshops, ERA updates, State Council Meeting report, Florida NOW state conference announcement, and commentary from the chapter's consciousness raising group for men.
  • Document 31 - January 1980 newsletter with information about upcoming events, chapter office, and task force information.

References