Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

Buried Ambition

Buried Ambition

More From Susan

In this video

Tagged as

Brownmiller describes her parents' varying ideas about women's ambition and the delay in recognizing her own.

Susan's Biography

Best advice ever received: “The sooner you recognize your ambitions, the better off you will be.”
First job: Waitressing in the Catskills.
Proudest Accomplishment: “Changing the discourse on rape”
Birth Sisters: She shares her birthday – February 15th – with one of feminist hero Susan B. Anthony.

Susan Brownmiller is an author and feminist activist, best known for her groundbreaking book Against Her Will: Men, Women, and Rape, which helped modernize attitudes towards the rape and placed it in the broader context of pervasive gender oppression. In 1995, the New York Public Library selected Against Her Will as one of the 100 most important books of the 20th century.
 
Brownmiller was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She attended Cornell University for two years but did not graduate, instead moving back to New York City to become an actress. After appearing in a handful of plays she switched careers and became a journalist. Over the next two decades she wrote and edited at several of the country’s most prominent publications, including Newsweek.
 
By the mid-1970s she had also become a widely respected radical feminist. She organized the highly visible sit-in at the Ladies Home Journal. The publication of Against Her Will in 1978 catapulted her to the forefront of the movement and it became a widely-read classic. Today she is regarded as one of the most important American social thinkers of her time. In addition to Against Her Will, Brownmiller has written several other books—fiction as well as non-fiction.

Related Videos

Pat Foote
Pat Foote
Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General

Brigadier General Evelyn “Pat” Foote is a retired U.S. Army general. Her groundbreaking achievements include being the first female Deputy Inspector General of the Army...

Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem
Feminist Activist

Groundbreaking writer, lecturer, editor and activist, Gloria Steinem has been looked to as the popular face of the women's movement for over four decades. She was a buzzed-abou...

Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Jennifer Siebel Newsom
Filmmaker & Advocate

Jennifer Siebel Newsom was already an accomplished women by the time she went knocking on Hollywood's door at the age of 28. She had graduated with honors from Stanford Univers...

Brandon Holley
Brandon Holley
Fashion Editor-in-Chief

Brandon Holley is the former Editor-in-Chief for Lucky, the award-winning magazine about shopping and style. She began her magazine career as a writer for Paper, which eventually l...