Lisa A. Leitz and David S. Meyer
"In this chapter, we look at the history of women's activism in the peace movement over the course of U.S. political development, examining the ways that women expanded the goals of peace activism to include gender and other social justice issues. We then examine which women actually participated in these efforts, and how that has changed over time. In the following sections, we explore distinct tensions in women's activism focusing on the role of gender (essentialism versus social constructionism) and radicalism versus pragmatic realpolitik. We conclude by looking at the outcomes of such mobilizations, which have been very limited in terms of policy, but much more extensive in terms of changing people's lives and feeding other kinds of activism, including women's rights."
Verta Taylor and Lisa A. Leitz
Taylor and Leitz trace processes of collective identity construction and politicization among women suffering from postpartum psychiatric illness who have been convicted of infanticide. Joining a growing body of research suggesting that self‐help and consumer health movements can be a significant force for change in both the cultural and political arenas, Taylor and Lietz examine one such movement, a pen‐pal network of women incarcerated for committing infanticide. Taylor and Leitz show how a sense of collective identity fostered by the pen‐pal network triggered a profound emotional transformation in participants, allowing them to convert shame and loneliness into pride and solidarity, and encouraging their participation in efforts to change how the medical and legal system treat postpartum psychiatric illness.