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Oral History Interview with Miriam Slifkin, March 24, 1995. Interview G-0175. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Miriam Slifkin, founder of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, talks about her involvement in the women's movement in Orange County, North Carolina. Slifkin addresses her work both with the Rape Crisis Center (RCC) and the National Organization for Women (NOW). She especially emphasizes tensions between NOW and the RCC. Because of growing anti-feminism in the mid-1970s, she explains that the RCC dissociated itself from NOW. She also addresses tensions among women who were concerned about rapeā€”some identified themselves as feminists, whereas others did not. Other topics addressed include efforts to reform existing rape laws in North Carolina during the mid-1970s; differences and similarities between national NOW and the North Carolina state chapters; differences between the work of NOW and that of other civil liberties organizations, such as the ACLU; Slifkin's perceptions of class and race in relation to women's activism; the establishment and purposes of women's studies curriculum; and Slifkin's thoughts on education and activism in the mid-1990s.
    Excerpts
  • Founding of and tensions surrounding the Orange County Rape Crisis Center in the mid-1970s
  • Rationale behind NOW's opposition to the death penalty for rape
  • The emergence of NOW in Chapel Hill and the effort to legitimate its authority
  • An anecdote about an early women's studies course in 1973
  • A response to criticism that NOW reflected a white middle class bias
  • Chapel Hill rape cases jolt the local chapter of NOW into action
  • Rape Crisis representatives included on 1975 commission to reform "rape laws"
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  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.