.. an institution, and marriage and motherhood denoted intimate relationships with men. “Sisterhood” was to serve as a justification for separation and isolation from men. According to feminists, married women were unable to participate fully in the movement since most of their interest, loyalty, and devotion were said to lie with their family (Epstein, 144). The more radical elements of the movement (a portion of the broader movement appeared to be taking over and trying to force its agenda on the rest) were against marriage and were in favor of autonomy “limiting to one third of their membership women who lived with men” (Shulman, 288). Several expectations about the relationship between men and women were proposed: Men were expected to be kept at a distance, celibacy embraced (Densmore, 78), male babies declared the enemy, sons, husbands and lovers eliminated from women’s lives (Wolfson, 278).

These stringent expectations were too much for many women; for many, the movement became impossible to join, and for others it became impossible to continue to participate. Activist Alice Wolfson (1996) , mother of two sons, dropped out because she failed to understand the feminist ideology that resulted in ” identification of male children as the enemy, a ban on male babies from the women’s liberation offices and coffee houses, and actually debate when a male baby became the enemy” (281). She found it impossible to “support an analysis that excluded half the human race, two of whom were her own sons” (Wolfson, 281). Other women in the movement with sons “protested that they cared only for women” and activist Barbara Epstein (1996) suggested that feminism had managed to create an arena of conformity and oppression in which one could not count on being able to speak honestly (145). Once Epstein published her views, others in the movement refused to associate with her politically (145). One of the reasons why women’s liberation failed was the inability to create an identity of “sisterhood.” The inability to create this identity was due to the failure of the ideology of gender separation — men had to be defined as the enemy.

In order to adopt this identity women were required to reject half of their lives and turn their own husbands and sons into the enemy. It is difficult, if not impossible to get women to reject men as the enemy, just as it is to get men to reject women as the enemy. Equally important, there are numerous cross-cutting identities of women. Women are dissimilar: They are mothers, daughters, wives, homemakers, and breadwinners. To create “sisterhood” among these multiple identities is indeed a difficult if not impossible task. Among women leading diversified lifestyles and holding contradictory convictions, it is impossible to attain a uniformity of identity and purpose. Individual women asserted their own identity and too many parameters divided them.

This heterogeneity undermines “sisterhood.” Women, also have different ideologies: Radical, conservative, liberal, and moderate. Phyllis Schlafly, leading advocate of conservative issues, led her flock and rallied against women’s liberation, successfully defeating the Equal Rights Amendment in 1982. The women’s movement itself moved women into the world of men, the working world the labor force. Women become integrated in the workforce and this reduced the effectiveness of sisterhood as a rallying point for women. Once incorporated within the workforce, women become more like men in order to succeed.

Workforce integration also reduces the distinctiveness of “sisterhood.” “Sisterhood” and its promise of solidarity for women’s identity was an imaginary nexus, too narrow in its ideology and too broad in its scope. In summary, to be successful in politics groups must be able to develop a “we-consciousness” among their members. Women are simply too diverse to accept the idea of a common “sisterhood.” Without shared identities, the women’s movement is easily fragmented along lines of ideology, class, race, etc., and its political strength is dissipated. References Densmore, Dana. (1996). “A Year of Living Dangerously.” The Feminist Memoir Project.

ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann, (Eds.). (1998). The Feminist Memoir Project.

New York: Three Rivers Press. Epstein, Barbara. (1996). “Coming of Age; Civil Rights and Feminism.” ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press. Freeman, Jo.

(1996). “On the Origins of the Women’s Liberation Movement from a Strictly Personal Perspective.” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press. Hinkle, Steve, and Rupert Brown.

(1990). “Intergroup Comparisons and Social Identity: Some Links and Lacunae.” Social Identity Theory; Constructive and Critical Advances, ed. Dominic Abrams and Michael A. Hogg. New York: Springeer-Verlag.

Long, Priscilla. (1996). “We Called Ourselves Sisters.” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann.

New York: Three Rivers Press. Moore, Richard. (1992, August 2). “Birthplace of American Feminism.” New York Times, pp.21. Shulman, Alix, Kates. (1996).

“A Marriage Disagreement, or Marriage by Other Means.” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press. Tax, Meredith.

(1996). “For the People Hear Us Singing Bread and Roses, ‘Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!’ ” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press. Wolfson, Alice, J.

(1996). “Clenched Fist, Open Heart.” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press. Bibliography References Densmore, Dana.

(1996). “A Year of Living Dangerously.” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann, (Eds.).

(1998). The Feminist Memoir Project. New York: Three Rivers Press. Epstein, Barbara. (1996). “Coming of Age; Civil Rights and Feminism.” ed.

DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press. Freeman, Jo. (1996). “On the Origins of the Women’s Liberation Movement from a Strictly Personal Perspective.” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann.

New York: Three Rivers Press. Hinkle, Steve, and Rupert Brown. (1990). “Intergroup Comparisons and Social Identity: Some Links and Lacunae.” Social Identity Theory; Constructive and Critical Advances, ed. Dominic Abrams and Michael A.

Hogg. New York: Springeer-Verlag. Long, Priscilla. (1996). “We Called Ourselves Sisters.” The Feminist Memoir Project.

ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann. New York: Three Rivers Press. Moore, Richard. (1992, August 2). “Birthplace of American Feminism.” New York Times, pp.21.

Shulman, Alix, Kates. (1996). “A Marriage Disagreement, or Marriage by Other Means.” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann.

New York: Three Rivers Press. Tax, Meredith. (1996). “For the People Hear Us Singing Bread and Roses, ‘Bread and Roses! Bread and Roses!’ ” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann.

New York: Three Rivers Press. Wolfson, Alice, J. (1996). “Clenched Fist, Open Heart.” The Feminist Memoir Project. ed. DuPlessis, Rachel, & Snitow, Ann.

New York: Three Rivers Press. American History.