Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Women's History Month: Leading Author In Women's Liberation Movement Continues Fight For Equality

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As NY1 continues it's celebration of Women's History Month, Manhattan reporter Jon Weinstein takes a look at a best selling author whose leadership role in the Women's Liberation Movement was about more than just her writings.

When the Women's Liberation Movement began in the late 1960s, Alix Kates Shulman was at the forefront as an activist and an author. Her best selling novel, "Memoirs of an Ex Prom Queen," was one of the first works of fiction to illustrate the ideals of the movement.

"It was a comic novel about all the absurdity that women have to face in everyday life, starting with childhood," Shulman says.

The book sold more than a million copies and made Shulman one of the most well known women's rights advocates.

The prolific author wrote about her home life and the unfair distribution of house work. In total, she's written 14 books, some fiction and some memoirs. All of them reflect her desire for greater gender equality.

"Once you understand that women are second class citizens, then as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, you see so many things that are needed to be done," she says.

In addition to her writing, Shulman is an active fighter for women's reproductive rights, equal pay and an end to violence against women. In 1968, along with other members of the Women's Liberation Movement, she protested the Miss America pageant's judging standards and criteria.

"We wanted to get across the idea that there was something wrong with judging women on their looks," Shulman says.

Shulman says that advocating and protesting in the streets is her favorite thing to do. She participated in the Occupy movement and her passion is just as high as it was in the early days.

She acknowledges the many victories the women's movement has achieved, but still she sees much more work to be done.

"I think we have to worry about the huge disparity between the rich and the poor, which so profoundly affects women," Shulman says.

In addition to remaining an activist, she plans to continue writing.

"It's what I do," she says.

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