Finding A Woman's Place: Book discussion by author Lorraine M Duval, Ph.D.

Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 4:00pm
Location: Conway Middle Room

Finding A Woman's Place: The Story of a 1970s Feminist Collective in the Adirondacks by Lorraine Duvall tells the story of a women's commune in the Adirondacks. In 1974 seven women with their eight children left their jobs, friends, and families to live together communally on a 23 acre rustic resort in Athol, NY. They called their home "A Woman's Place."  They were inspired by other feminists to take this independent action and leave behind the restraints of the patriarchal society of the 1960s and '70s. This was also a time when hundreds of back-to-the-land intentional communities were started in rural areas in the US and abroad. Most were co-ed.  Just a few were women-only. 

Hundreds of women passed through the doors of A Woman's Place in its eight years of existence. Its popularity spoke to the need of women to congregate and take comfort in knowing that they were not alone in their struggles to thrive in a male dominated world. 

Duvall tells their story through a power point slide show, followed by a discussion period. Hearing about the personal lives of women who were brave enough to begin anew at A Woman's Place will hopefully inspire women, and men, to take action in their own lives. As an introduction, Duvall will present her views on the status of women and how they were treated until the mid 1990s, adding her own experinces during that time, as she is of the same age cohort as the brave women who started A Woman's Place.

An added benefit of her research is that many of the women have reconnected, renewed friendships, and started new ones. These women bonded 40-odd years ago, and though they lost touch for many years, these bonds remain strong.  Better than anything, perhaps, this illustrates the validity of the experiment deep in the Adirondack woods so many years ago.

Posted on November 14, 2019, at 10:52pm