MAKERS Profile

Robin Morgan

Writer & Feminist Activist

In this video

Robin Morgan on feminist myths, the 1968 Miss America protest, and the popular start of the women's movement.
Bras were not burned outside the Miss America pageant in September of 1968. Instead, they--along with other items symbolizing the constraints placed on women--were tossed ritualistically into a trashcan by assembled protesters. It was an inspired piece of street theater, staged by the New York Radical Women. Author, poet, and feminist pioneer Robin Morgan led the group in its unprecedented rebellion against the "the degrading mindless-boob-girlie symbol" created by the pageant and by the media as a whole. The media certainly took notice. The protest garnered front-page coverage across the country, vaulting the Women’s Lib movement, myths and all, into the public consciousness.     Morgan’s brave and impassioned voice has now been helping to unlock the cages of violence and oppression for over four decades. A founder of contemporary US feminism and a leader in the international women’s movement, she’s won a National Endowment for the Arts Prize for her poetry and written to acclaim on the sources of terrorism and religious persecution. She penned the seminal feminist essay, “Goodbye to All That,” in 1970, and the same year and compiled  the now-classic anthology Sisterhood Is Powerful. Her 1984 follow up, Sisterhood is Global: The International Women's Movement Nathology, provided the basis for Morgan, Simone de Beauvoir, and representatives from over 80 countries to found the Sisterhood Is Global Institute as a center for strategy, activism, and policy-formulation on behalf of women worldwide. Morgan hasn’t lost her nerve. She’s the 2006 author of Fighting Words: A Tool Kit for Combating the Religious Right and a founder with Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem of the Women’s Media Center.

More From Robin

Girls Say Yes to Boys Who Say "No"
Morgan talks about the powerful moment in the 60s when frustrated women began comparing notes.

A Real Sexual Revolution for Women
Morgan argues that the "sexual revolution" of the 70s was a revolution on men's terms only.

Activism Past Youth
Morgan muses about the challenge of sustaining activism beyond one's idealistic youth.

Global Feminism
As a radical feminist, Morgan doesn't believe that feminism has become less radical.

Mom's Last Name
Morgan admits her secret delight when discovering her son took her last name.

Practical "Witches"
Morgan talks about her radical feminist group W.I.T.C.H. and one of their more successful protests.

Naming Names
Morgan spoke out against the sexism of the 60s left in her seminal essay, "Goodbye to All That."

“The personal is political”
How one of the quintessential mottos of the feminist movement arose.

Learning to Say "No"
Learning to say "no" is an important but difficult lesson.  Morgan is still practicing.

Perfectionism Is Boring
To the "be perfect" messages that have always bombarded women, Morgan has a ready comeback.

Never a Man-Hater
Morgan confronts the man-hater stereotype that attached to feminists.

“Brought to you by the women’s movement”
The women's movement can and must take credit for many of the everyday rights women take for granted today.