THE MEN OF VFA
Founding Chair of NARAL (National
Abortion Rights Action League) and President of ARM (Abortion Rights Mobilization) , Lawrence Lader has long been recognized as a pioneering writer on abortion
rights and family planning in this country .Lader helped put together the campaigns that produced the landmark
New York State law of 1970 legaliz- ing abortion, and similar campaigns for other state laws.
A former adjunct associate professor
in New York University's school of journalism, Lader has written over 450 articles for American Heritage, Collier's,
The New York Times Magazine, New Republic, and other national magazines. He lives with his wife in New York City.
Lawrence Lader helped to change the world when his book Abortion in 1966 launched the abortion rights movement, and he became founding chair, National Abortion
Rights Action League (NARAL) from 1969 to 1975.
Lader's book RU 486 in 1971 roused the public to the importance of this new drug. As president
of Abortion Rights Mobilization, he organized the research which led to the drug's approval by the Food and Drug
Now Lader's climactic new book sums
up fifty years of experience. Ideas
how ideas originate, how they can be turned into movements and become national policy through the courts and legislatures.
Ideas Triumphant is essential reading for students and everyone
involved in organizations, particularly women's studies groups, which must influence public opinion and work with
courts and legislatures. It is a unigue book for action.
To order copies, phone Seven Locks
Press (1- 800-354-5348)
3100 W. Warner Ave.,#8, Santa Ana, CA. 92704
Fax (714) 545-1572 Tel. (800)
DR. SHEPARD ARONSON
In 1968 was the first Chair of the Board of the New York chapter of NOW-- first local chapter in the country.
With his wife Muriel Fox (national
Chair of NOW 1971-3), Shep attended NOW's founding conference in Washington, D.C.in October, 1966. But he missed
some of the votes because he took care of their little children while Muriel handled conference publicity.
While serving on the Board of Directors of the New York County Medical Society, Shep created and chaired its Joint
Committee of Nurses and Physicians, the country's first physician-nurse committee in which nurses were equal partners
and a nurse co-chaired with a physician.
He also organized a New York County Medical Society meeting with women's groups about "What's Wrong with Doctors'
Attitudes Toward Female Patients." This resulted in a report that was distributed by the Society to physicians
throughout the world. It was summarized in a long article in the New York Times.
Shep served on the Medical Advisory Committee of Planned Parenthood of New York. He lectured widely on medical-and-feminist
topics; and wrote "Marriage
with a Successful Woman: A Personal Viewpoint," published in Women and Success by William Morrow in 1974.
When David Susskind's network TV show interviewed a panel of feminist men (including Gerry Gardiner) in 1972, Susskind
taunted him: "But Dr. Aronson, how would you feel if your wife made more money than you?" Shep's reply
"Dr. Aronson was husband of
VFA Board Member Muriel Fox - Shep and Muriel proudly displayed, side by side in their home, the medals they received
from VFA in 1996 together with other founders of NOW."
Shep Aronson passed away in November 2003.
On the national board of NOW for two
years, he was the treasurer of the Pittsburgh chapter and was the volunteer off-set operator for KNOW, Inc., the first feminist publishing house founded by JoAnn and others. He filed
a complaint against the Pittsburgh Press which led to the Supreme Court decision that ended sex-segregated help-wanted
ads in all newspapers.
||The Harvard graduate was a reluctant
NOW member because of wife, JoAnn Evans, a pillar
of NOW. When JoAnn and sculptor Lorna McNeur were arrested in Times Square in New York at a NOW demonstration,
he became an "up-front" activist.
After several years in Houston, where he taught at Rice U. he and JoAnn are back in Pittsburgh. Gerry was honored
by VFA on the 30th anniversary of NOW celebration in 1996 .
DR. CARL DEGLER
After telling Betty Friedan of Gilman's
book, she invited him to be a part of the Founding group for NOW in Washington. He was honored at the VFA reunion
with Betty Friedan at the Seventh Avenue Armory in 1998 He has continued to write about the history of women and
minorities, especially his book AT
ODDS; THE HISTORY OF WOMEN AND THE FAMILY FROM THE REVOLUTION TO THE PRESENT (1980), which is still in print. With a book on comparative race relations,
he won the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1972. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and of
the American Philosophical Society. Today he is an emeritus professor of American history at Stanford University.
||Carl N. Degler, history professor at
Vassar College, when it was still a women's college, published his first article on women's history in 1956, in
which he brought attention to the work of Charlotte Perkins Gilman for the first time for post-war America. In
1966 he published a new paperback edition of Gilman's classic WOMEN AND ECONIMCS (1899).
||Phineas Indritz - the late attorney of Silver Spring, MD.
was a tireless fighter for civil rights. He gave of his time and talents to help feminists, the NAACP and other
civil rights groups. He wrote appellate court briefs, authored the Pregnancy Disability Act of 1978 and Maryland legislation prohibiting discrimination against women.
He worked behind the scenes with Catherine East, Mary Eastwood, Marguerite Rawalt and Betty Friedan to motivate
the founding of NOW. Much of the civil rights legislation he authored later became law. The NAACP, in honoring
him, called him "An unsung hero of the movement for social justice and equal treatment under law." Phineas
was honored by VFA in 1994.
||Richard Graham -of Round Oak, Maryland was EEOC Commissioner
in 1966. He was one who urged Betty Friedan to form an organization to pressure government to force compliance
with Title VII in handling cases by women. For trying to
handle women's cases for the EEOC, he was not re-appointed. On the founding board of NOW, he was a vice-president.
He was a founding Commissioner on the District of Columbia Status of Women Commission, a member of the Federal
Interagency Committee and Executive Director of the Center for Moral Development at Harvard. While president of
Goddard he helped found the Goddard-Cambridge Center for Social Change, one of the earliest centers of women's
studies. Dick was honored at VFA's anniversary celebration of NOW in 1996 at Barnard College.
Frank Welch was a professional photographer, served in the U.S. Navy during
World War II as Photographer for Camp Peary, Virginia. He retired from Brookhaven National Laboratories, Long Island.
His photographic talent came in handy during the early years of the South Shore, L.I. NOW chapter's growth, where
in addition to being one of the founding members, he was Treasurer for a time, co-chaired the Human Sexuality Committee,
and helped with the monthly newsletter. Frank suffered a stroke (CVA-left) on 9 September 1993, so it has been
nine years where he has not been able to walk, although he used to walk short distances with a quad cane; however,
now he spends his time in his battery-powered wheelchair. He never lost his power of speech, nor his sense of humor!
Frank attended many National NOW conventions with his wife, VFA member and Secretary, Grace Welch, most recently
in a rented "Scooter" in Las Vegas and Memphis. He was born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina and
came to New York to work for Ford Instrument Company War Plant in Long Island City. He met Grace on a blind date.
They've been married 56 years and have three children, Michael, Jean, Lisa, and two granddaughters, Kimberly Grace,
and Leanna Marie, who, they hope, will follow the feminist path!
ATTENTION...It is with much sorrow to announce Frank's passing -- October 10, 2004.
Please link here for his obituary: FAREWELL DEAR FRIEND
David Dismore, "television news
archivist and feminist history researcher for the Feminist Majority Foundation" as well as a Los Angeles NOW
member is collecting and archiving old newspaper and magazine articles dealing with feminist topics from all over
"I first discovered the Suffragists
in High School and thought I missed out on the battle for equality by being born 26 years after the 19th Amendment
was ratified. Turns out I only missed 'Part One' of the struggle for Human Rights."
(Photo: 1982 cross-country E.R.A. bikeathon )
"Part Two" has been a 26
year adventure, all the way from my first NOW meeting (when I carefully peeked into the room before opening the
door to see if men were allowed to attend) through demonstrations and rallies on many issues, a cross-country bikeathon
for E.R.A. in 1982, to my archival work digging out, then sharing via e-mail, articles printed from 1848 to 1971
about the struggle for women's rights.
But as impressive and exciting as feminism's past has been, its future is even better. So Iet's always remember
those who got us this far, while never forgetting how much work we still have to do to finish the job started in
Be Sure to visit The
Dismore Archives while you're here at the VFA website! Fascinating collection of women's history, that for some
odd reason -- seems to have been left out of history books! The collection is growing all the time!
||I was in grammar school when the feminist
movement got going, so didn't take part. I'm simply fortunate to have met people who were second-wave activists.
I became a supporter (of women's liberation) in 1979 after reading Redstockings's book "Feminist Revolution,"
and of abortion law repeal after meeting Cindy Cisler in the 1980's.
6 First Ave Taunton,
(Ron Pinhiero is a VFA member.
His contribution was in honor of Carol Hanisch.)
REMARK OF A SON TO
||What do you mean I'm not a veteran feminist!?
Didn't I play the role of the impregnated (male) judge in Myrna's (Lamb) short play for the New Feminist Theatre
? I took the part when none of the actors would. They paled at reading the script! And didn't I work with Anselma
(Dell'Olio) and Myrna and the theatre group for two years? So, I'm a veteran feminist!
Douglas Ceballos was
17 when he acted with the New Feminist Theatre in 1968. All the children of early activists, who stuffed envelopes,
took part in demonstrations and answered the phone for their moms in those hot days of activism can be considered
veteran feminists. One day, we'll have an event to honor them! Jacqui Ceballos