d Introduction e
Locating Feminist Activism
I
n 1971, Eileen Hudon, an American Indian, Catholic woman, sus-
pected there was a movement that could help her. For years, her
husband had beaten her and attempted to keep every means of au-
tonomy from her: money, transportation, shoes, even a pen and paper.
Hudon repeatedly searched the ‘‘one resource available’’ to her. As she
explained, ‘‘I remember being twenty-one, and looking in the phonebook
in Minneapolis, and I was looking through it trying to find the women’s
movement, wondering how to find the women’s movement. Because I
knew the women would understand what was happening to me. And I
couldn’t find it in the phonebook: What do I look under? Where do I go?
There’s no way to find the women who understand.’’∞
Hudon’s narrative reveals that by 1971, ‘‘the women’s movement’’ was
widely known; even someone as isolated as she was could imagine ‘‘the
women’’ out there who understood and had solutions to the structural
conditions that contained her and other women in violent households.
Though she also knew people connected to the American Indian Move-
ment (aim) who were protesting police brutality in Minneapolis, Indians
had not yet collectively addressed women’s status in Native communities
or within the racist hierarchies of the United States.≤ Neither did Hudon’s
immediate social network know how to respond to her distress: her hus-
band was a nice guy, after all. The women’s movement, she thought, would
be the obvious place to go. The phrase ‘‘women’s liberation’’ was in the
airwaves, on the streets and on the shop floors, in schools and the halls of
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