Eleanor Smeal, known for her pioneering work during the Second Wave Feminist Movement, continues to carve out her legacy for civil rights in the Third Wave Feminist Movement. She is the president and founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation. Smeal also served as president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) twice. Thus far her legacy is most impressive and Americans owe her a great debt of gratitude.
Everyone should know who Eleanor Smeal is! It was Smeal who was responsible for the passage of such landmark cases as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (a woman cannot be fired for being pregnant), Equal Credit Act, Civil Rights Restoration Act, Violence Against Women Act, Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (and yet we still see women being attacked as they try to enter health clinics that merely provide abortions), and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, an extension of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
What I love about Smeal is her authenticity. She practices “the personal is political,” and all of us reap the benefits from her dedication to civil rights. Happy Birthday, Eleanor.
Happy Birthday to another hero of mine: Pat Schroeder, Colorado Congressional Representative (1973-97), who promoted the Family and Medical Leave Act. Sadly, Schroeder was taken to task for showing emotion and shedding tears–the hypocrisy and irony is not lost on TSM readers who have had to endure the gratuitous praise John (Mock Turtle) Boehner receives every time he cries in public.