Founder Of Ms. Magazine
March 12, 2012 by staff
Founder Of Ms. Magazine, Ms. is an American liberal feminist magazine co-founded by American feminist and activist Gloria Steinem and founding editor Letty Cottin Pogrebin together with founding editors Patricia Carbine, Joanne Edgar, Nina Finkelstein, and Mary Peacck, that first appeared in 1971 as an insert in New York magazine. The first stand-alone issue appeared in January 1972 with funding from New York editor Clay Felker.
From July 1972 to 1987, it appeared on a monthly basis. During its heyday in the 1970s it enjoyed great popularity, but was not always able to reconcile its ideological concerns with commercial considerations. Since 2001, the magazine has been published by the Feminist Majority Foundation, based in Los Angeles and Arlington, Virginia.
Co-founder Gloria Steinem has explained the motivation for starting Ms. magazine, stating “I realized as a journalist that there really was nothing for women to read that was controlled by women, and this caused me along with a number of other women to start Ms. magazine.” As to the origin of the name chosen for the magazine, she has stated, “We were going to call it ‘Sojourner’, after Sojourner Truth, but that was perceived as a travel magazine. Then we were going to call it ‘Sisters’, but that was seen as a religious magazine.
We settled on ‘Ms.’ because it was symbolic and also it was short, which is good for a logo.”
The title of Ms. magazine was suggested by a friend of Gloria Steinem who had heard the term in an interview on WBAI radio and suggested it as a title for the new magazine. Modern use of Ms. as an honorific was promoted by Sheila Michaels.
Michaels, whose parents were not married to each other, and who was not adopted by her stepfather, had long grappled with finding a title that reflected her situation: not being “owned” by a father and not wishing to be “owned” by a husband. Her efforts to promote its use were ignored in the nascent Women’s Movement. Around 1971, during a lull in an interview with “The Feminists” group, Michaels suggested the use of the title “Ms.” (having chosen a pronunciation current for both in Missouri, her home).
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