Most baby boomer women can recall that our early years were not exactly fair. In truth, when we were young, being a member of the “fairer sex” meant you were destined to living a life of limited opportunities.
Women and girls were considered woefully inadequate when it came to the skills needed for positions requiring the use of authority or power—and certainly inept at meeting the challenges inherent to an academic career. Therefore we needn’t bother applying for jobs as news broadcasters, pilots, politicians, or professors; we just didn’t possess the proper equipment. (Thanks to Freud, we all recognized which particular part of the anatomy we lacked and—let there be not doubt—envied!) Even if we were smart and college-educated, hearth and home remained our destiny.
That is… until the magazine that launched the idea of sisterhood came into being. Ms. leveled the playing field in so many ways. Thanks to this periodical’s revolutionary take on what it meant to be a fully-formed, vital woman with real talents and abilities, we began to form our own identity, we began to feel pride, and we began to develop a sense of personal power.
If you’re a regular reader of Feisty Side of Fifty, you know that I consider myself extremely fortunate to call two of the founding members of that remarkable magazine my friends. Suzanne Braun Levine, long-time editor at Ms. and author of many inspiring books on women and aging, is a regular guest on my radio show. Karin Lippert, the former Promotions Director, has frequently supported my efforts through her innovative suggestions and helpful ideas. It is through my personal experience that I know these women truly “walk their talk.” Sisterhood is real and Ms. played a major role in bringing it to life.
As you may know, 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the magazine that launched a movement. Karin wrote a lovely tribute commemorating the celebration for the Huffington Post. Her piece has already garnered lots of interest and “likes” and I urge you to check it out and read about the women who did so much to make a difference to each and everyone of us.
We’ve just celebrated a holiday focused on thanks and—for me—the work of the wonder women of Ms. is truly a cause for gratitude. So, to every feisty woman out there, read Karin’s piece, remember the beginnings of sisterhood, and let her know you like it too!