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Funding FeminismMonied Women, Philanthropy, and the Women's Movement, 1870-1967$
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Joan Marie Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469634692

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469634692.001.0001

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Margaret Sanger’s Network of Feminists

Margaret Sanger’s Network of Feminists

Funding the Birth Control Movement

(p.169) Chapter Six Margaret Sanger’s Network of Feminists
Funding Feminism

Joan Marie Johnson

University of North Carolina Press

Many feminist philanthropists believed that economic and political rights for women were incomplete without the right to control one’s reproduction. America’s leading birth control advocate, Margaret Sanger, was a skilled fund-raiser. She carefully managed a network of society women who supported her organizations, publications, and private life. Chapter 6 takes a new approach to understanding Sanger: by moving the spotlight from Sanger to her supporters, it becomes clear that her strategic turn to wealthy women did not come at the expense of her feminism (even if she did drop her socialism), as has been argued by some historians. This chapter shows that women like Gertrude Minturn Pinchot and Juliet Barrett Rublee rallied behind Sanger, creating a Committee of 100 to defend her and promote the birth control movement. Unafraid of being arrested, their personal lives and their birth control advocacy revealed their feminism. Chapter 6 focuses on the ways that feminism undergirded rich women’s donations, compelled them to take on controversial issues, and pushed them to influence Sanger and shape the movement and the American Birth Control League and Planned Parenthood. Furthermore, this chapter demonstrates the social networks of power created by wealthy women.

Keywords:   Margaret Sanger, birth control, social network, feminism, American Birth Control League, Planned Parenthood

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