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

Linda Fairstein
Linda Fairstein
Prosecutor

Linda Fairstein is a sex crimes prosecutor who served as head of Manhattan's District Attorney's sex crimes prosecution unit, one of the first of its kinda in the country. ...

Kris Carr
Kris Carr
Cancer Survivor & Author

Kris Carr is a best-selling author, filmmaker, motivational speaker and wellness coach. After being diagnosed with a rare and incurable stage four cancer, Kris was inspired to prom...

Ursula Burns
Ursula Burns
CEO, Xerox Corporation

"I'm a black lady from the Lower East Side of New York," Ursula Burns told Fast Company in 2011. "Not a lot intimidates me." It’s a stance that has se...

Lisa Leslie
Lisa Leslie
Champion Basketball Player

In 2002, Lisa Leslie became the first WNBA player to dunk a basketball. Throughout her trailblazing career, she was many firsts: the first WNBA player to win the regular season MV...