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The Feminist Chronicles - 1953

 

Events

The Second Sex by French feminist writer Simone De Beauvoir, was published in the United States. The phrase "women's liberation" later adopted by the more radical wing of the feminist movement, was first used in this book. (1953)


Lifestyles

For the 20th successive year, the Connecticut State Senate debated retention of a law forbidding the use of contraceptives by both married and unmarried women. (04/18/53)

The Kinsey report on Sexual Behavior in the Human Female was published. The study was based on interviews with 8,000 women. (1953)

Jacqueline Cochran was the first woman to pilot a plane faster than the speed of sound, flying an F-86 Saber jet at 760 miles per hour over Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base in CA. In World War II, Cochran had been the first woman to ferry a bomber to England. (1953)


Economic

Doriot Anthony Dwyer, descendant of Susan B. Anthony's brother, was appointed first flute in the Boston Symphony Orchestra-a male preserve. (1953)


Political

Playwright Clare Boothe Luce, former member of Congress (1943-47), was appointed Ambassador to Italy, the first woman to represent the U.S. in a major diplomatic office. (03/03/53)

Oveta Culp Hobby, who organized and directed the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAC) during World War II, became the first Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. (05/11/53)

Eleanor Roosevelt publicly allied herself with the National Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW) by shifting her original stand on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to favor complete equality. Katherine St. George of New York, the ERA's congressional sponsor, sought to put the bill on the first docket before the 83rd Congress. (01/02/53)


The Backlash

Phyllis Schlafly did research for Senator Joseph McCarthy at the height of the "McCarthy era," which lasted from 1950-54.

Praised by Better Homes and Gardens for not attempting "to become an intellectual," First Lady Mamie Eisenhower was glowingly depicted in the Woman's Home Companion as "no bluestocking feminist." (07/53)

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The Feminist Chronicles

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