A '70s Newsletter for Feminist Men   

Historical Treasures, Oddities, And Delights
May 13 2013 11:00 AM

A '70s Newsletter for Feminist Men

The Vault is Slate's new history blog. Like us on Facebook; follow us on Twitter @slatevault; find us on Tumblr. Find out more about what this space is all about here.

This newsletter was produced by a group of men based in Berkeley, Calif., who were working for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The sheet was sent to interested activists throughout the late 1970s, as the feminist movement worked to secure the support of enough states to win the amendment’s permanent attachment to the Constitution.

The group’s name, “M.A.N. for E.R.A.,” stood for “Men Allied Nationally for the Equal Rights Amendment.” M.A.N.’s pitch to men was summed up in a motto that mixed arguments based on morality, feasibility, and ego: “Stake, Place, Chance, and Strokes.”

Advertisement

Men should care about the E.R.A. because they had a “stake in the creation of a gender just society.” They had a “place” in the fight. There was a “chance” to succeed. And—in a turn of phrase that now sounds unfortunate—“they will receive STROKES” (praise) “for their efforts to make this a sex fair society.”

The group of men featured on the cover represented a wide array of blue- and white-collar jobs. A few occupations identified in the caption: M.D., tennis professional, rodeo cowboy, general contractor, psychologist, casino dealer, and mechanic.

Communications scholar Amanda Goldrick-Jones writes that M.A.N. was far from the only feminist male group to form during the 1970s. Conferences and meetings abounded, and many newsletters like this one addressed topics including everyday sexism, experiences of racism, strategies to combat rape, and gay rights.

The Congressional deadline to secure the E.R.A.’s ratification in 38 states passed in 1982, with only 35 states signed on. At that point, the M.A.N. group disbanded.

M.E.N. Newsletter p 1
MANforERA2Final

MANforERA3Final

Images courtesy the Sophia Smith Collection (Gloria Steinem Papers), at Smith College.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.