Miss America protest

“The Miss America protest was a demonstration held at the Miss America 1969 (September 7, 1968), sometimes known as No More Miss America! The protest was attended by about 400 feminists and separately, by civil rights advocates. The feminist protest, organized by New York Radical Women with Robin Morgan as the key organizer, included tossing a collection of symbolic feminine products, pots, false eyelashes, mops, and other items into a ‘Freedom trash can’ on the Atlantic City boardwalk. When the protesters also successfully unfurled a large banner emblazoned with ‘Women’s Liberation‘ inside the contest hall, they drew worldwide media attention and national attention to the Women’s Liberation Movement. A female reporter (Lindsy Van Gelder) covering the protest drew an analogy between the feminist protesters and Vietnam War protesters who burned their draft cards, and the bra-burning trope was erroneously and permanently attached to the event and became a catch-phrase of the feminist era. A lesser known protest was also organized on the same day by civil rights activist J. Morriss Anderson. It was held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel a few blocks from the Miss America pageant. They crowned the first Miss Black America. … The New York Radical Women was a group of women that had been active in the civil rights movement, the New Left, and antiwar movements. The group was organized in the fall of 1967 by former TV child star Robin Morgan, Carol Hanisch, Shulamith Firestone, and Pam Allen. They were searching for a suitable way to draw attention to their movement. … The dramatic, symbolic use of a trash can to dispose of feminine objects caught the media’s attention. Protest organizer Hanisch said about the Freedom Trash Can afterward, ‘We had intended to burn it, but the police department, since we were on the boardwalk, wouldn’t let us do the burning.’ A story by Lindsy Van Gelder in the New York Post carried a headline ‘Bra Burners and Miss America.’ Her story drew an analogy between the feminist protest and Vietnam War protesters who burned their draft cards. …”
Fifty Years Ago, Protesters Took on the Miss America Pageant and Electrified the Feminist Movement
WNYC: First Protests at the Miss America Pageant (Audio)
Jo Freeman – No More Miss America! (1968-1969)

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Civil Rights Mov., Draft board, Feminist, Newspaper, Vietnam War and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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