Rights Feminists to Reconfigure the Campaign for the ERA in the
1940s and 50s?
In 1943 Florence Kitchelt joined the National Woman's Party (NWP) and organized an autonomous organization in Connecticut to support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). As a social feminist she had opposed the ERA for twenty years, because she believed it would undo hard-won labor legislation for women. Between 1943 and 1960 Kitchelt promoted a third strategy that supported both the ERA and protective legislation. Her campaign highlights the bitter stand-off between social justice and equal rights feminists in the 1940s and their first glimmerings of compromise in the 1950s.