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Abzug Campaigning in Manhattan

Abzug Campaigning in Manhattan
"I had been working all along to elect a variety of male politicians who I believed would support or, better yet, fight for the programs I cared about most. In 1969 I poured all my energies into a campaign to reelect New York Mayor John V. Lindsay...

"'You're always so critical of politicians and government...' [Lindsay] said. 'Why don't you try it yourself, and you'll find out how hard it is.'

'You're right,' I said. 'I think I will.'

"Then and there, I decided to run for Congress. It was like a light switch being turned on in my brain, that "click" which my friends at Ms. magazine call the moment of recognition of a feminist truth. I had been working hard all those years to elect men who weren't any more qualified or able than I, and in some cases they were less so....

"In talking to other women who have gone into politics, I found that many experienced similar clicks....All it required was a closing of the perception gap, with the woman focusing on herself as a legislator and leader, not as the usual behind-the-scenes worker and supplicant. In the 1970s those individual clicks were becoming a chorusa small one, but with the promise of more to come."

1. Entire quote from Bella Abzug, Gender Gap: Bella Abzug's Guide to Political Power for American Women, with Mim Kelber (Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1984) 161.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Abzug Campaigning in Manhattan." (Viewed on November 29, 2015) <>.


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