Erma Bombeck: Growing Feminist Consciousness



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This thesis uses humorist and feminist Erma Bombeck as a case study of feminist history. Bombeck demonstrates a growing feminist consciousness through her written and political work. Breaking boundaries set by feminists and society, Erma Bombeck defied social constructs and invited her large group of fans to do the same. Second-wave feminism is often characterized by women like Betty Friedan. Many second-wave feminists thought that women could easily go forth into the workforce, without thinking of those who could not afford homecare. Erma Bombeck created space in the feminist movement for housewives to feel welcomed. Though many housewives bound themselves to the antifeminist movement, there is room for more complexity in this history. Erma Bombeck spoke on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment by recruiting the everyday housewife, reaching out to a group that had otherwise been written off by feminist groups.



History, United States