2 Liz Calder discusses WiP's links with the wider feminist movement
Raising awareness was really part of what was happening, and Women in Publishing did that. You know, it was the time of feminist activity. People like the writers Germaine Greer, Kate Millett and Sheila Rowbotham and Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan – all of those, they were all inspirational. Betty Friedan published ‘The Feminine Mystique’, which for me was the book that changed my life. It was the book that my generation recognised, which said you don’t have to be stuck behind a dishwasher the rest of your life. You’ve got to do something with your life. It was that, actually, that that triggered it in my head.
But it doesn’t matter how it happened, it was all there in the air – the books, the groups, the rallies, the meetings.
And that, I think, also energised and fed Women in Publishing. You were part of something that was happening in many parts of the world, in many ways. I think, you know, it was to give confidence to people that were not in senior positions and who could benefit from the encouragement that they get from going to the meetings.
There was a lot of scepticism from men, and even women, saying, you know, “I don’t know what all this is about”. But you can’t deny that there is strength in getting together to learn how to deal with discrimination, with poor pay, with conditions that aren’t very great and with opportunities that are not being offered. All of that. You know, it’s a way to give strength to your companions and to your group, your friends, the people that you know could be doing better with more force behind them. And it’s that sort of gathering of strength to make these lives more fruitful.