Paul Berlanga interviewed author Joan Marie Johnson about her latest title, Funding Feminism.
The story of how a few privileged (needless to say, white) women were able to make demands on the burgeoning Women’s Right’s Movement in exchange for money; why they chose to support the cause at all; what it meant for the Movement then and since are all discussed in this informative new work.
Monied Women, Philanthropy, and the Women’s Movement, 1870–1967
by Joan Marie Johnson
Air Date/Time: December 9, 12pm (Central)
320 pages, hardcover
How did a group of affluent white women beginning in the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries advance the status of all women? Through acts of philanthropy. This cadre of activists included Phoebe Hearst, the mother of William Randolph Hearst; Grace Dodge, granddaughter of Wall Street “Merchant Prince” William Earle Dodge; and Ava Belmont, who married into the Vanderbilt family fortune.
Motivated by their own experiences with sexism, and focusing on women’s need for economic independence, these benefactors sought to expand women’s access to higher education, promote suffrage, and champion reproductive rights – as well as to provide assistance to working-class women. In a time when women still wielded limited political power, philanthropy was perhaps the...