The Ms. “Family” 40th Birthday Party – Celebrating Sisterhood, Wonder Woman and Why We [Women] Won the Election!
by Karin Lippert
“To this day, it’s one of the ways I define myself: I worked at Ms. It’s my badge of pride,”
We came together to celebrate our collective pride and three generations of connections as a “family.” To remember the conversations we started with each other that became articles, sparked a dialogue with our readers – with women everywhere – and transformed our lives and theirs. To revisit the women’s issues we helped shape, the writers and ideas we nurtured that were garnered from the thousands of manuscripts and letters we received, the testimonials collected at Speak Outs, and the notes that Gloria brought back from her travels.
We came together to recall the daily challenges we faced in the beginning with media, the advertising world, the bulging bags of mail, the lack of desks and sometimes a lack of understanding from our own families about our decision to be part of the women’s movement and this fledgling magazine. To acknowledge our debt to Wonder Woman whose values we still cherish and to celebrate the “Ms. Kids” we watched grow up.
We came together to remind ourselves of what we have accomplished. As contributing editor Jane O’Reilly, author of “The Housewife’s Moment of Truth” in the Preview Issue, wrote on the morning after the election:
- “It is important to remember how brave we were 40 years ago. We thought we were expressing common sense, when we in fact were fighting what was understood as natural law. We expected, in the beginning, a clear path, and we got Clear Channel. But we also got who we are today, who our daughters and grandchildren are, and, the election last night. Good for us!”
Beginning with the Preview Issue, which generated 20,000 letters and hundreds of unsolicited manuscripts, we had an extraordinary and profound relationship with our readers. Letters often began with: “This is the first letter I have ever written to a magazine…” or later “Ms. is a good old friend. We’ve been together since her birth.”