Inland Northwest History Moment: Second Wave of Feminism

Spirits ran high at the 1977 Washington State Conference for Women. Feminists and conservatives converged on Ellensburg by the thousands to develop a timetable for removing state barriers to equality and to elect delegates to Houston’s International Women’s Year Conference.

Civil Rights activism had energized a second wave of feminism.  Washington state passed its own Equal Rights Amendment in 1972, as well as the federal version a year later. These ended discrimination in insurance, credit, child support, labor and rights to sue. But Ellensburgactivists aimed to expand equal rights regarding credit, lawsuits and employment.

 Within this progressive movement, Marion Moos operated Spokane’s Past-Time Feminist Bookstore for four years, before running the YWCA Women’s Resource Center. A founding member of the Spokane Chapter of the National Organization for Women, she also played a role in organizing the 1977 Ellensburg Conference.

Today, women continue to fill a high percentage of elected offices across Washington state. At one moment in 2009, women represented Spokane residents in the City Council, Mayor’s Office, County Board of Commissioners, State Senate, Governor’s Office and both houses of Congress.
 
And Marion Moos’ button bag?.... Along with her store sign, signature hat and personal papers, the button bag tells the women’s rights story in the museum’s permanent collection.
 
The Inland Northwest History Moment is a collaboration of Spokane Public Radio and the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC), in celebration of 100 Stories, the museum’s centennial exhibition. www.northwestmuseum.org
 
 
More Resources:                                                                    
In 2010 Washington state celebrated the centennial of woman’s suffrage with a traveling exhibit, comprehensive publication, Women’s Votes, Women’s Voices: The Campaign for Equal Rights In Washington by Shanna Stevenson, and extensive website: http://www.washingtonhistory.org/research/whc/
 
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture: Archives Collection Ms 203 Marion Moos Papers
 
 
Image caption:
The buttons covering Marion Moos’s bag represent the feminist issues, conventions and candidates she supported as a founding member of the National Organization for Women, Spokane chapter.Marion Moos’ Political Button Bag, 1970-2000. Museum Collection 4164.1
 
Past-Time Feminist Book Store Sign, 1973-1977. Museum Collection 4164.2 
Marion Moos’ Hat, 1970s. Museum Collection 4164.3 
Marion Moos, Spokesman-Review “YOU” Magazine Cover, March 25, 1979. Museum Collection Ms203.1.1.1.
 
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