Ms. Magazine is 40 years old this year according to a headline I saw yesterday and I was startled to read the news because I remember very well when it began and sheepishly admit I wasn’t sure it was still in publication. I don’t read as much as I once did, and I attribute that pathetic revelation to a love affair I have with the sight of my own words on a computer screen which is as powerful a narcotic as my nightly sleeping pill. Happy Birthday, Ms.! You gave narratives and images to a feminist movement that sputtered its way under protest from lone voices crying in the wilderness to the American mainstream political landscape and I thank you for the hopes and dreams you gave me and my generation. Gloria Steinem, bless you for the vision of the potential impact of Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. I.O.U.
Title IX is 40 years old Saturday, June 23rd. I found this interesting fact when I actually looked up Ms. Magazine online tonight. Did I remember Richard Nixon was the President who signed this bill into law? I did not but am relieved to have one positive piece of history attributed to the man who got my vote in the 1968 election. Title IX is to public education and related school activities for girls and women what hot fudge and nuts are to vanilla ice cream on a sundae. Necessary and rewarding. Sweet. If education provides the foundation for equal opportunites in a democracy, Title IX makes sure the base doesn’t tilt due to the randomness of being born female.
I also learned about another birthday from Ms. online tonight. She’s called The Lady from Burma and is the recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. She’s 67 years old today, June 19th. and delivered her acceptance speech three days ago, 21 years after she won. I’ll save her story for our next time. Happy Birthday, Aung San Suu Kyi!