I was giving some thought, before I begin the next steps in the novel — to why the Newspaper industry looked so glamorous to women from my generation. The more I think about this — it dates for me from two things The Watergate Reporters — Woodward and Bernstein. And the film “Love Story.” In 1981 I was about to transfer into the University of California, and I had come home to SB from Santa Monica. I needed a job. Like millions of girls I intended to go to college. As I think back, the most seminal film I had seen in the era of my “Jr. Feminism” was “Love Story.”
Ali McGraw played a Radcliffe girl in that. I dreamed of going to an Ivy League college in my teens. So when I look at women like Hillary Clinton and Jill Abramson I see an aspect of myself as a woman who came of age during Second Wave Feminism.
So imagine being thirteen and seeing this:
It might have been in 8th or 9th grade that my first poems were published in our little underground newspaper at my school. “The Star -Spangled Underground Revolutionary Free Press.” Some little girls I knew ran it. Their dads were teachers out at UCSB at the time. We had a school paper but, this one was very topical against the Vietnam War, and this was the Woodstock protest era.
For girls like me, many things were to shape our generation. I’m sure my mother never expected me to go to college. She thought I’d be happy being in Fashion as she had been. Those were my first jobs. She told me that I should be a buyer. That was the best job a woman could have. It was as an assistant buyer, for a department store in Santa Monica — that I met in the salesclerks — girls my age who were working part time and attending UCLA. I was determined to go, it’s just that I started a few years late. My education — both my BA and my MA are the things I hold as my biggest accomplishments in life. So far.
I never planned to go to work for a newspaper, but the minute I did? I loved it. For twenty long years I labored with the rest of the staff to get that paper out daily, come rain or shine.
ABOVE THE FOLD will be the tale of what happened. To women. In Newspapers.
It was 1981.
I was about to get a job. I was leaving my briefcase behind. I was trading it for a backpack that could hold my books.