These women, students and graduates of Smith College, Massachusetts, in 1972, are supporting the "women's liberation movement." 
 
"We've come a long way, baby. From Adam's rib to Women's Lib" reads the sign carried by one of the graduates. 
 
There are three distinct references to popular culture in that phrase. Consult the "Questions" tab to identify them, and explain why they are relevant to the women's liberation movement.
  1. "We've come a long way, baby." What does this phrase refer to?

    • Answer

      "You've come a long way, baby" was the popular slogan for Virginia Slims, a cigarette brand marketed at women. The slogan, used throughout the 1970s and 1980s, hinted at women's social progress and independence.

  2. What do you think "Adam's rib" refers to?

    • Answer

      It's a reference to a well-known story in the Bible. According to Genesis 2:21-22, God created the first woman, Eve, from a rib of the first man, Adam.

  3. "Women's lib" is short for "women's liberation." Why do students think the sign-holders say "women's lib" is a "long way" from "Adam's rib"?

    • Answer

      Women's liberation was a civil-rights movement (often called "second-wave feminism") that supported greater independence for women. In the story of Adam's rib, the woman is dependent on a man—she was fashioned from his rib.

academic
Adjective

person or thing having to do with school, particularly college or university education.

civil rights
Plural Noun

set of fundamental freedoms guaranteed to all individuals, such as participation in the political system, ability to own property, and due process and equal protection under the law.

Noun

legislative branch of the government, responsible for making laws. The U.S. Congress has two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate.

controversial
Noun

questionable or leading to argument.

domestic violence
Noun

abuse directed toward someone living in the same home or household.

economic
Adjective

having to do with money.

Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
Noun

(1923-1982) failed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would prohibit legal discrimination based on sex.

family planning
Noun

control of the number of children in a family and the intervals between them.

first-wave feminism
Noun

(~1800-~1939) civil rights movement focused on securing voting rights and property rights for women.

lesbian
adjective, noun

woman who is attracted to other women.

popular culture
Noun

goods, services, ideas, and patterns of their use in a population.

privilege
Noun

benefit or special right.

property
Noun

goods or materials (including land) owned by someone.

second-wave feminism
Noun

(~1939-~1989) civil rights movement focusing on securing economic, political, social, and academic rights for women and girls. Also called "women's lib" or the "women's liberation movement."

Shirley Chisholm
Noun

(1924-2005) American civil rights leader and politician.

third-wave feminism
Noun

(~1989-present) civil-rights movement focused on combating inequalities women face as a result of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, economic status, or level of education.

Title IX
adjective, noun

(Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972) American legislation prohibiting discrimination in all educational programs receiving federal funds. Also called Title 9 and the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.

transgender
adjective, noun

person whose gender identity does not match their physical sex.

voting rights
Noun

issues surrounding the legal right and ability to campaign and cast a vote in political elections.

West
Noun

having to do with the developed nations of Europe and North America.