Forty Years of Feminism and Friendship

I am really looking forward to interviewing Gloria Steinem at the Milford Readers and Writers Festival. She has played such an important role in my life for over 40 years.

I was hired at Ms. Magazine for my magazine experience, not my feminist credentials. That was clear when I showed up for work in a pink(!) version of the Career Gal uniform: tailored blouse, pencil skirt — and a girdle. My new boss Gloria Steinem and the rest of the staff were in more comfortable and less “acceptable” clothes. Which was sensible, given that the office furniture was orange crates and three-legged cast off desks.

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The Humans Collective is Coming to the Milford Readers & Writers Festival

I am excited, and not a little prejudiced, that the Milford Readers & Writers Festival will be heralded in at the Milford Theatre with an energetic and truly unique performance by Humans Collective, an ensemble of performers who come together to create art that is reflective of the diverse human condition. I’m excited because this is an amazingly talented group of young performers and I may be prejudiced because my lovely granddaughter Dana, is a part of this ensemble and, I have to say, the reason they are coming to Milford.

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The Soul of the Milford Readers and Writers Festival – Words.

Words.

They can lift you, inspire you, move you, rattle you.
They can shape you, mold you, flatten you, devastate you.
They can cut you deep.
They can rip you to shreds.
They can make you brave.

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The Milford Readers and Writers Festival: How it all Got Started

Like many good ideas, this one began with a “what if…” Sean Strub, Amy Ferris, Bob Levine, and I were discussing the many writers conferences we had each attended, how much advice, constructive criticism, and moral support they offered aspiring writers. “But what about the readers?” I wondered. “Why aren’t there conferences for the people who love to read?” As a writer myself, I know how exciting it is to have a conversation with a thoughtful reader.

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THE NEW YEAR STARTS NOW

Labor Day has always felt like New Year’s Day to me. It’s the school calendar that continues to promise new possibilities. This year they include a new project, some especially interesting trips, and wonderful news from several of my writer friends.

I am going to Billings, Montana to give the keynote at the first Annual Exceptional Women Luncheon on September 17. I am especially delighted to be there because, in addition to the opportunity to celebrate terrific women, the event will be co-sponsored by the brand new Billings chapter of The Transition Network, an organization I have admired and supported since its earliest days.

Enjoy 50, 60, 70, Featured »

Being Old Is Full of Beautiful Surprises

Suzanne Braun Levine
NextAvenue.org

The author at 70 catalogs how she’s acting her age

It seems as though everyone I know is talking about death. We are also talking about how, to our surprise, death seems more like the houseguest who won’t leave than the grim reaper. That’s the big difference about being over 70. Death is more of a presence — an active presence — and less of a threat than it was when we were 60. As my friend Robin puts it, when time is running out, we are blessed with the “gift of urgency.”

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Reinventing the Workplace:<br />An Intergenerational Challenge

Suzanne Braun Levine
Encore.org

One of the most persistent and misguided assumptions about the relationship of younger and older workers is that they are adversaries – competing for the same jobs and incompatible in work habits. This presumption of intergenerational hostility ignores the productive synergy that happens when their skills and work styles mix and energy meets experience, technological fluency meets accumulated people skills, ambition meets not sweating the small stuff.

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Women’s Lib: Then and Now

Suzanne Braun Levine
NextAvenue.org

A Founding Feminist’s review of five issues that still need work

In 1972, when I joined Ms.magazine — the exciting and very controversial new “women’s lib” publication — I had just gotten my “MRS degree,” which was considered an honor, except that being married meant that I could not get a bank loan without my husband’s signature. Also, back then, I wasn’t allowed in most restaurants wearing pants; job listings were segregated under “help wanted – male” and “help wanted – female” and I had had an illegal abortion.

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How Dads Love Now!

Suzanne Braun Levine
Huff/Post50

While the work-life balancing act remains difficult for working couples — more and more dads are committed to finding a way to make it work. They are making parenting a priority, creating the time for the moments with their kids that one calls the “miracle” of fatherhood.

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Our Sons Are Changing Fatherhood, But Can Men Have It All?

The notion of “Having It All” has been with us since the early days of the women’s movement. It was maddening to us at Ms. magazine to see how the empowering-sounding phrase was used against us by the individuals and institutions that had a vested interest in the status quo. By highlighting the impossibility of having it all professionally and personally, the question distracted from the real issue — that women are entitled to have equal access to it all.

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Is Encore the New Women’s Movement?

Suzanne Braun Levine
Encore.org

Last week I spent an exhilarating evening exploring the Encore message with Marci Alboher and close to 200 people who had come to the New York Public Library to find out more about her book The Encore Career Handbook. In our presentation, Marci covered the nuts and bolts of how to envision and find work that matters to you in the second half of life, and I tried to connect the Encore Movement with the Women’s Movement – in which I have spent both halves of my working life.

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Celebrating Women’s History Month:<br /> The Stories We Tell

Back in 1972, when I signed on at Ms. magazine, our mission was to document the history women were making every day. Early detractors, like newsman Harry Reasoner, dismissed those efforts by pronouncing the material too sparse to sustain a magazine for more than a few issues. But Ms. kept on filling its pages. It became the place to find out about women athletes, women scientists and executives as well as the brave rebels who were speaking truth to power — women who went unremarked in the rest of the media.

Also unremarked were women whose accomplishments had been lost to history, because no matter how awe-inspiring a woman’s story would have been if she were a man, it was rarely deemed worth including in the record of human accomplishments; if it had been suggested back in the seventies, the phrase “women’s history” would have been considered an oxymoron.

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[10 Mar 2014 | One Comment | 7,522 views | ]
My MAKERS Hero:<br /> Bella Abzug

Suzanne Braun Levine, MAKERS

She spoke truth to power – every day

Maybe it’s because she was loud and opinionated, and I was chronically afraid to make trouble; maybe it was her moral courage; maybe it was because she kept fighting way after others gave up. Or because she was very funny. Or because pushy and rough as she could be, she always spoke of her husband Martin and her daughters with great tenderness Maybe it was her omnipresent hats. Bella Abzug, who died in 1998 – too soon to be interviewed for MAKERS – is definitely my hero.

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My Best Friend Deb & Why Women At Woodstock East Was So Important to Me

by Ann Voorhees Baker, founder
Women at Woodstock

I’ve started to write about Women At Woodstock East 2013 a dozen times – and stopped, because I can’t really talk about what I experienced without first talking about my friend Deb. And for the last month I haven’t been able to talk about Deb, even via a blog post.

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Meet Barbara Young: Purpose Prize Winner  National Domestic Workers Alliance

Encore.org, second acts
for the greater good

When Barbara Young courageously transformed herself from immigrant nanny into passionate advocate, she launched an encore career with the power to change the lives of domestic workers across the United States.

In 2001, when Barbara Young signed up for a nanny training class in New York City, she didn’t realize how it would set her on the path for her encore career. She simply thought taking a certificate program could help her acquire extra skills, like CPR. She took pride in her work looking after a six-week-old baby round the clock, and was thirsty for knowledge. “I figured it would be really good for me,” Young says.