Wouldn’t it be funny if it turned out that the whole of the Women’s Liberation Movement was orchestrated by men and started out as a joke?
From the History Page of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on line:
“EEOC had expected to receive very few charges of sex discrimination in its early years. It had assumed that the vast majority of charges would allege race discrimination because Title VII had been debated and passed in a racially-tense environment and most of the Congressional and media attention had focused on the problem of race discrimination. It was a surprise to find that fully one third of the charges (33.5 percent) filed in the first year alleged sex discrimination. After all, the prohibition against sex discrimination had been added as a last minute amendment by Congressman Howard Smith of Virginia who opposed the civil rights legislation and thought that Congress would reject a bill that mandated equal rights for women.
Indeed, most supporters of Title VII initially opposed the Smith amendment because they, too, thought that it would doom the legislation. The amendment stayed in because female members of Congress argued that there was a need to protect equal job opportunities for women. Congresswoman Katherine St. George of New York argued that she could think of “nothing more logical than this amendment“ and that while women did not need any special privileges “because we outlast you, we outlive you, . . . we are entitled to this little crumb of equality.”