October 28, 2009 at 11:13 am , by Sonia Harmon
Fifty years ago, many women were expected to follow the typical career path of either teacher, nurse, or secretary. Today, we can say that a woman was a serious contender for the American presidency. What happened over such a short period of time to cause so much change? Gail Collins tells us in her new book, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present. Covering everything from politics to pop culture, Gail walks you through a fascinating five decades of history that shows just how far women have come.
What we love about Gail is that she’s set some milestones of her own: in 2001 she became the first female editorial page director for The New York Times, where she is now an op-ed columnist.
What makes me a lady: Knowing everybody around me feels comfortable.
Favorite guilty pleasure: Watching old reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Three things on my life list: 1. Learn to speak Spanish 2. Write a novel 3. Buy a really, really expensive pair of shoes
If I could have a superpower, it would be: I guess flying, but actually I’d be satisfied with one of those StarTreky transporters—anything that would get me from one place to another without going through an airport!
Ladies I admire: Mukhtar Mai, the Pakistani woman who was gang raped and instead of responding by committing suicide, in the tradition of her rural village, went to court and prosecuted her assailants, creating an international incident and, eventually, a school and refuge for other women in need of aid. On the more local front, Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider, the recent Nobel prize winners for medicine, Gloria Steinem, and my mother, Rita Gleason.