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Challenge and ChangeRight-Wing Women, Grassroots Activism, and the Baby Boom Generation$
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June Melby Benowitz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061221

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061221.001.0001

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date: 19 February 2020

Public Health

Public Health

Chapter:
(p.63) 2 Public Health
Source:
Challenge and Change
Author(s):

June Melby Benowitz

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813061221.003.0003

Chapter 2 examines three health issues that drew the attention of rightist women: fluoridation of public water systems, mental health programs, and polio vaccinations. In regard to both fluoridation and polio vaccination, rightist women feared that they were detrimental to Americans’ health, especially that of the baby boom generation. The women protested government involvement in mental health programs. Many women on the right believed that, as a result of their activism against some government programs, they were likely to be targeted as “deviant.” They protested the administering of mental health examinations in public schools, fearing that such tests were not only intrusive, enabling government to learn more about them and their families than they wished to disclose, but also that the tests could actually cause children to develop mental problems. Some on the far right believed that the government, communists, Jews, and the scientific elite were conspiring to gain control of the nation via various health programs.

Keywords:   Fluoridation, Polio vaccination, Mental health, Conspiracy, Deviant, Baby boom generation, Right-wing women

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