Students in women’s studies courses throughout the United States hear stories of “girl-meets-birth-control” or awakening the inner feminine mystique. But I’ve learned something else in my history class at a Christian college.
We were reading a speech Adlai Stevenson gave at Smith College’s 1955 commencement. Stevenson, the Democratic presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956 (losing both times to Republican Dwight Eisenhower) was a Unitarian Universalist, an old school Democrat whose New Deal liberalism would put most modern liberals to shame.
Stevenson wasn’t pro-tradition or evangelical-friendly. But he told women at an elite institution—Smith is the alma mater of famous feminists like Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem—“There is much you can do . . . in the humble role of housewife.” He called their education a preparation for the “primary task” of homemaking and training children to preserve what was culturally best.
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