[Feminist Chronicles] I grew up a feminist, raised by a feminist, who was raised by a feminist. I spent much of the first half of my life hearing early feminists called "women's libbers" and "bra burners."
But no one has ever been able to provide me with a shred of evidence that women marching for equal rights burned a bra in the process. Today, National Public Radio's Morning Edition featured a terrific piece that shatters the ol' bra burning myth. The feature looks back at the 1968 Miss America Pageant, and the small but vocal group that protested the beauty contest for the first time. Three of the protesters and Miss America 1968 are interviewed. Fascinating stuff.
In truth, the protesters had a a large garbage bin in which they threw "instruments of female torture"--pots and pans, copies of Playboy magazine, hair curlers, bras and girdles. As one of the protesters now recalls:
"The media picked up on the bra part. I often say that if they had called us 'girdle burners,' every woman in America would have run to join us."
And if anyone out there can prove bras got burned in the past 40 years in the name of feminism, I'd love to hear from you. (Holly Mullen)