O problema das mulheres de JFK

NOVA IORQUE – O 50.º aniversário do assassinato de John F. Kennedy oferece uma oportunidade para considerar as mudanças de consciência nos Estados Unidos que ocorreram no meio século desde a sua morte. Em particular, embora Kennedy tenha entrado para o panteão dos heróis americanos, dados recentes mostram que as mulheres, principalmente, têm vindo a perder admiração por ele como líder. Porquê?

Em alguns aspectos, o legado de Kennedy para as mulheres era tão progressista como o seu legado na raça e na pobreza. Uma atitude verdadeiramente visionária foi convidar Eleanor Roosevelt, uma feminista de longa data, para presidir a primeira Comissão Presidencial sobre o Estatuto das Mulheres (PCSW). A PCSW (President’s Commission on the Status of Women), que incluía líderes políticos de ambos os sexos, foi um verdadeiro, em vez de superficial, esforço para avaliar o preconceito no local de trabalho que as mulheres enfrentavam, quais as protecções legais que deveriam ter e o que poderia ser feito para acabar com a discriminação de género - um conceito que ainda carece de vocabulário.

Na verdade, quando Kennedy reuniu a PCSW, as mulheres na América podiam ser excluídas dos júris, não tinham acesso a contraceptivos orais e ao aborto, e não conseguiam obter créditos no seu nome. No mesmo ano em que Kennedy foi assassinado, Betty Friedan publicou The Feminine Mystique, provocando uma tempestade no debate sobre “o problema que não tem nome” - a insatisfação das mulheres com os seus papéis limitados. O relatório da PCSW, emitido um mês antes do assassinato de Kennedy, ainda poderia ser um ponto decisivo se ele ainda estivesse vivo.

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