A Tribute to Helen Gurley Brown.

14 Aug

Yesterday we lost an American icon for women’s rights and the sexual empowerment of women.  Helen Gurley Brown died at age 90.  Brown was the author of Sex and the Single Girl a brilliant book that encouraged women to become financially independent and to explore their sexual needs independent of the confines of marriage.  She was also the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan magazine–32 years at the helm.

Brown was a great influence in the “sexual revolution” and one of the first voices to tell women they could have it all–“sex, money,  and love.”  In 1982 she wrote, Having it All.

Upon hearing news of Brown’s death, New York Mayor Bloomberg offered:

Today New York City lost a pioneer who reshaped not only the entire media industry, but the nation’s culture. She was a role model for the millions of women whose private thoughts, wonders and dreams she addressed so brilliantly in print.

Some of my favorite quotes by Helen Gurley Brown are:

Beauty can’t amuse you, but brainwork—reading, writing, thinking—can…Never fail to know that if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody…What you have to do is work with the raw material you have, namely you, and never let up…A man likes to sleep with a brainy girl. She’s a challenge. If he makes good with her, he figures he must be good himself…(and one of my absolute favorites) How could any woman not be a feminist? The girl I’m editing for wants to be known for herself. If that’s not a feminist message, I don’t know what is.

Helen Gurley Brown leaves an amazing legacy.

6 Responses to “A Tribute to Helen Gurley Brown.”

  1. william wallace August 14, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    To use such death of a good soul as means that
    a fraudster as BLOOMBERG can take the stage
    and spin out more of his utter nonsense / is only
    a insult unto every female making a mockery of
    womans struggle /to be free of male domination
    domination as t’was brought through halfbaked
    religious teaching which but a cover reducing a
    female to hundreds of years of slavery / where
    deprived of an ability to read to write / deprived
    of the right to freedom of independent thought.

    May It Soon HelenTakes another Human Form
    Thus Not The End / But The Begin Of Another
    Chapter In An Human Journey Unto Its Ulimate
    Goal In That Of NOT Believing But In Knowing.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt August 14, 2012 at 7:16 am #

      I am not a fan of Bloomberg, but I do hope his comments were genuine and I think he was trying to acknowledge her legacy.

      • william wallace August 14, 2012 at 8:12 am #

        Michael / BLOOMBERG’S comments are as genuine
        as the road map which promising palestinians an free
        palestinian state. BLOOMBERG’s words / genuine as
        BARACK’S “Healthcare Bill” its but a ruse get another
        term in office. The HEALTHCARE BILL will end in the
        same drawer as the ROAD MAP for a free palestinian
        state / never to see light of day.The requiered money
        for BARACK’S healthcare exists only in “Twilight Zone”
        most of his empty promises aimed at female he needs
        their vote in getting a second term in office / he is but
        using women with his empty promises which appalling
        behaviour / BARACK’s the worst of political fraudsters.

        PS / I know your not a fan of BLOOMBERG (the worst
        example of politics / where having vast wealth you can
        buy anything or anyone / it’s just not an equal playing
        field / it’s not the true american spirit / it’s most unjust.

  2. Jay August 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Not to speak ill of the dead, but Cosmo is viewed by many as a dubious source of sexual education for young women. Dan Savage speaks of Cosmo as being about as realistic and helpful to young women as Penthouse Letters are for young men. While that is more of a funny one-liner than a balanced assessment, I think its fair to say that a significant percentage of Cosmo’s “Sex Tips That Will Drive Him Wild In Bed” (or whatever the title of that month’s article may be) are more risible than genuinely educational.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt August 16, 2012 at 6:15 am #

      I honestly never liked Cosmo and agree it had many flaws. With that being said, Cosmo does not sum up the life of our Helen Gurley Brown and that narrow view does an injustice to the pioneering work she contributed to the sexual revolution.

  3. Jay August 17, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    I was making a specific point about Cosmo, and did not intend to imply that that observation was all that there was to be said about Ms. Gurley-Brown.

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