A small part of women’s history

I met Nan last fall when she took the initiative to start a book club in my condo building. On that first Thursday afternoon, we nibbled on snacks, sipped wine, and got to know each other a bit before starting our discussion of Unbroken. I was talking to Nan about my book project involving women… Continue reading A small part of women’s history

Consciousness Raising on the Women’s Pages

Kathie Sarachild was a powerful voice in the fledgling women’s movement of the 1960s. She coined the phrase Sisterhood is Powerful. She held the Women’s Liberation banner aloft at the protest of the 1968 Miss America Pageant. She gave the keynote speech when the New York Radical Women held a “burial of traditional womanhood” at… Continue reading Consciousness Raising on the Women’s Pages

The F-word: Then and Now

In 1968, Gloria Biggs was the executive women’s editor at TODAY, a Gannett newspaper in Coco, Florida. She wrote a column headlined “To Catch a Woman” for a trade publication in which she provided advice about how women’s newspaper sections could cater more successfully to target readers. In the penultimate paragraph she noted: I’d like… Continue reading The F-word: Then and Now

Some Words from Dad

Today would have been my Dad’s 88th birthday. He was born in 1925 in rural Illinois, served in the infantry during the final World War II battles in Western Europe, returned to complete college at the University of Illinois, and had a successful career as a newspaperman, mostly spent as news editor at the Detroit… Continue reading Some Words from Dad

Having it All – Circa 1970

Having it all. This phrase, perhaps more than any, is a flashpoint for 21st century feminism. In a New York Magazine piece headlined “When Will We Stop Talking About ‘Having It All’?” Molly Fischer describes the utopia: A job should be challenging and fulfilling, putting your talents to their best possible use and nurturing your… Continue reading Having it All – Circa 1970

What’s in a Name?

At first, they were the “Society Pages” – portions of big city mid-nineteenth century newspapers devoted to the comings and goings of the white glove crowd. Soon these pages evolved into the “Women’s Sections” that continued the society reporting but expanded to cover what were considered important women’s concerns in the early 20th century –… Continue reading What’s in a Name?

From Laura Petrie to Mary Richards

From 1961 to 1966, there was Laura Petrie, loving wife of Rob and mother to Ritchie. The Petries lived in New Rochelle, New York and Rob commuted to Manhattan and worked as the head writer at the Alan Brady Show. Laura met Rob when she was a 17-year-old dancer with the USO, and she happily… Continue reading From Laura Petrie to Mary Richards

The Editors

Vivian Castleberry - an influential women's editor - at her typewriter Those were turbulent times, the 60s and 70s. Civil rights. Vietnam. Assassinations. Woodstock. Watergate. And then there were those pesky women. Feminists, second wavers, or – worst of all – libbers. They were gathering in consciousness raising groups across the country. They were reveling… Continue reading The Editors