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A Dirty Word

MAKERS Moment

A Dirty Word

More From Alix Kates

Watch in Cinema View

In this video

Shulman explains why she believes the word "feminism" has become a tainted word, but why it ultimately doesn't matter what it's called since the ideas are the same.

Alix Kates's Biography

Raised In:Suburban Cleveland, Ohio.
Early Career Aspirations: "My father was a lawyer…and inspired me to want to be a lawyer too."
Undergraduate Studies:Earned a degree in history and went on to study philosophy in graduate school.
A Genuine Housewife:"I represented the people whose lives [the feminists] were talking for."

Alix Kates Shulman is a feminist activist and writer who has penned fourteen books including her bestselling novel, Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, considered one of the first of its kind to emerge from the Women's Liberation Movement. Her controversial 1969 essay "A Marriage Agreement" proposing that men and women split childcare and housework equally has been widely reproduced in magazines, anthologies and even a Harvard textbook on contract law.
 
Smitten with philosophy, Shulman moved to New York City following college to study at Columbia University Graduate School. After working as an encyclopedia editor for some years, Shulman eventually transitioned into a housewife, until she discovered the burgeoning women's movement. As a feminist activist Shulman became a member of early groups like New York Radical Women, Redstockings, and WITCH.
 
Shulman has been recognized and awarded for her writing and work by numerous organizations including the DeWitt Wallace/​Readers Digest Fellowship, the American Academy in Rome, the PEN American Center, and the Rockefeller Foundation Center in Bellagio, Italy. In 2000 she received the Woman 2000 Trailblazer Award from the Mayor of Cleveland.

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