Has everything changed for women?

I talk to Gail Collins about what Mad Men gets right, black v. white women's rights and whether Palin is a feminist

Topics: Feminism, 2008 Elections, History, Women writers,

Gail Collins started her new book, “When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women From 1960 to the Present,” before the historic year of the woman, 2008, when female politicians like Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin rose and fell and (in both cases, in different ways) rose again. Authors never know if the topics they choose will still be fascinating and important months or years later, when their books are published, but in Collins’ case, the Gods of Publishing Relevance smiled on her.

I got to talk to Collins as part of my debut on Bloggingheads.tv, and you can see most clips of it here. The book opens on the eve of 1960, with the story of Lois Rabinowitz, a secretary who happened to wear slacks to pay a ticket for her boss, and found herself chided by the judge for disrespect. “When Everything Changed” grabs your almost certainly pantsed self right there, and makes you promise to give the book to all the young women in your life this holiday season. It closes with the so-called Year of the Woman, 2008, when Clinton and Palin cracked part of the glass ceiling for women in politics, but left plenty more for women to come, if they dare.

Looking over Collins’ dizzying panorama, it’s hard to believe women moved so far so fast, and still remain so far from full equality. I talked to Collins about why she thought she started the book the same year the terrific writers of “Mad Men” began their series. Short answer: the pill. Longer answer: Well, watch it.

We talked about how rare it is to see the struggles, and different priorities, of black, working-class and other non-white women depicted in a mainstream book on the women’s movement:

I asked whether Collins felt like history was repeating itself in the 2008 Clinton vs. Obama Democratic Primary, in terms of feminists fighting with advocates of racial equality over who got to go first, black men or (mostly white) women:



You Might Also Like

Finally, in the lightning round: Is Sarah Palin a feminist? Which was more influential, “The Feminine Mystique” or “Sex and the Single Girl”? The biggest feminist legislative defeat: ERA or Comprehensive Child Development Act? And why Billie Jean King is an underappreciated feminist hero:

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    jkrebs04, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 1

    Niagara Falls, U.S./Canada

    akvarog, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 2

    Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

    iMAGICations, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 3

    Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, U.S.

    jhgraphicsusa, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 4

    Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

    Robert R., DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 5

    Colosseum, Rome, Italy

    Anythingoes, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 6

    Taj Mahal, Agra, India

    Sergio Coelho, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 7

    Siena Cathedral, Siena, Italy

    Anythingoes, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 8

    Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    iMAGICations,DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 9

    Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France

    iMAGICations, DesignCrowd.com

    Cities without landmarks

    Slide 10

    Lost City of Petra, Jordan

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>