The National Women's Political Caucus
(NWPC) was formed by leaders like Abzug, Shirley Chisholm, Patsy Mink, and Gloria Steinem to encourage and further the equal participation of women in politics. The following quotes are from Abzug's speech at the July 10, 1971 NWPC founding conference:
"I don't think any of us intend to replace the male white middle-class elite that runs this country with a female white middle-class elite."
"I believe very deeply that the hope of an effective women's political movement lies in reaching out to include those who have been doubly and triply disenfranchised - reaching out to working women, to young women, to black women, to women on welfare - and joining their strength together with millions of other American women who are on the move all over this country demanding an end to discrimination and fighting for their rights as full and equal citizens."
"I am not elevating women to sainthood, nor am I suggesting that all women share the same views, or that all women are good and all men bad. Women have screamed for war. Women, like men, have stoned black children going to integrated schools. Women have been and are prejudiced, narrow-minded, reactionary, even violent. Some women.
"They, of course, have a right to vote and a right to run for office. I will defend that right, but I will not support them or vote for them."
1. The quote "I don't think any of us intend.." is from Bella Abzug, Gender Gap: Bella Abzug's Guide to Political Power for American Women, with Mim Kelber (Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1984) 22.
2. The quotes "I believe very deeply..." and "I am not elevating..." are from Bella Abzug, Bella! : Ms. Abzug Goes to Washington, Mel Ziegler, ed (New York : Saturday Review Press, 1972) 199.