This paper explores how If You Ask Me’s monthly mix of personal information about Roosevelt, advice to women on how to handle their families, and political commentary created a forum that presaged the discursive modes of Second Wave Feminists. Roosevelt used the stories women told in their own questions and the stories she shared about her life to inspire political action. Not only did If You Ask Me use modes of discourse we associate with Second Wave Feminists, it also consistently brought issues into the realm of politics that we typically associate with the 1970s claim that the personal is political. Two decades before Second Wave Feminism began, If You Ask Me treated childcare, housework, and marriage as political as well as personal problems. This paper will ask if the style of discourse embedded in Roosevelt’s column and later taken up in feminist consciousness raising groups led to the politicization of issues like childcare and marital relations.
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