And she was dressed for the occasion in a short black lace gown with her hair up in a bun. It was all about giving men the impression that she was a woman of all ages and therefore a feminist.
By 1926, some critics even claimed that her flappers were actually feminists by refusing to be covered. (No doubt their bosses thought of this when they agreed to hire her to take the place of one of those flappers they were cutting back as the industry was struggling.)
So her flapper costume was feminist and she was a feminist. It is an achievement that feminists are still in the same room with the likes of Gloria Steinem, and they keep calling her out for her ridiculous statements. I remember seeing the first time a woman was to get nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and it wasn’t nominated by a man. I remember having an experience in a women’s group where she said we were having trouble getting some literature out into the world, so how can we expect the men to read our writing? And I remember her saying that women who don’t accept a sexual relationship before marriage are having an abortion and should be sent to the hospital. I remember being horrified that we thought that the man was the only person who was guilty of rape. Women aren’t having to learn to accept their own agency over their own bodies. They want to look in other women’s eyes to see that they are not like that. They want to be safe. Women have this belief that we are not human. No one is telling them they shouldn’t be able to have their opinion. We have to let them, it would benefit all of us. If men have ideas about what’s good and healthy, what are women to do?
I remember that when she told me that men needed to learn to respect women and that the only way men were going to be educated about women was for them to get out of the house and actually read them, I was absolutely shocked and I got so angry that it just made me want to do something about it, like vote for the Equal Rights Amendment! But at that time, we didn’t have the ERA, so I just let it stand there. I just felt that whatever it took for her to do something about it, that was the best way to help, in such a hostile environment.
What was it like talking to people?
I mean, they were just as shocked as I was. But they weren’t as angry because they
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