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Miss America in an evening gown

“As long as Miss America requires contestants to look good in an evening gown while strutting in high-heeled shoes, it’s unlikely women in the United States will achieve gender equity,” wrote Catherine Cuellar in an article in the June 11, 2018, issue of The Dallas Morning News. “But from the composition of corporate boards to […]

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Miss America without her swimsuit

The Miss America pageant is scrapping the swimsuit competition, according to an article in the June, 6, 2018, issue of The Dallas Morning News. “We are not going to judge you on your outward appearance,” explained Gretchen Carson, chairwoman of the Miss America Organization. Instead, the organization will focus on women’s talents, intelligence and ideas. […]

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Redefining the word princess

Meghan Markle is a biracial, divorced, 36-year-old American feminist, says Sophie Gilbert at Millions may have tuned in because of fascination with royal tradition, but what we witnessed was “the redefinition of the word princess.” It’s about time we redefined the word!

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When birth control was illegal

I think I knew this, but I was astonished to be reminded by Cecile Richards in her new book that birth control was technically illegal in many states until 1965. That’s when the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that people have a constitutional right to “marital privacy.” That’s right. The date was 1965. […]

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A woman’s mind

Lucy Hayes, whose husband was president of the United States from 1877-1881, was the first presidential spouse to earn a college degree. She was hailed as a “new woman”—although she didn’t support women’s suffrage. “A woman’s mind is as strong as a man’s…equal in all things, superior in some,” she once said. Hayes is one […]

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A seat at the table

Women now make up a quarter of the state legislators in the United States. Today, 1,865 or 25.3 percent of the 7,383 state legislators are women. That compares to 344 or 4.5 percent in 1971, according to the spring 2018 issue of Ms. magazine. We’ve made progress, but we still have a long way to […]

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The system of patriarchy

After 3,000 B.C.E., men engaged in warfare on a grand scale, says Walter Wink in his book The Powers That Be. “Social systems became rigidly hierarchical, authoritarian and patriarchal. Women were deprived of the right both to speak their minds and to control their bodies. “The earliest documented effort to establish basic legal rights for […]

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Violence against women

Women still face a number of challenges today, emphasized Judy Norsigian, an author and editor of all nine editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves, in a recent presentation at Southern Methodist University. Norsigian listed three challenges: • The increasing sexualization of women and girls • Violence against women, including the trafficking of women • Threats to […]

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Celebrating 100 years of voting

British women won the right to vote on February, 6, 1918—100 years ago. At least some British women won the right to vote. Only female property owners who were 30 or older were eligible to vote, explains The New York Times. It took another decade before Britain extended the right to vote to all women […]

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Protesting in Iran

In one of Tehran’s busiest squares, an Iranian woman removed her headscarf, tied it to a stick and waved it for all to see. Half a dozen other women have protested Islamic law by removing their headscarf, reports The New York Times. Their protest is significant in Iran, even though the women are “still small […]

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