This is derived from "35 Years of Minnesota Women."
A staple of Minnesota Women’s Press since the very first issue on April 16, 1985, has been its focus on profiles about powerful, everyday women.
That is a lot of stories about Minnesota’s feminists, some of whom you see pictured on the mosaic cover of our retrospective book, from among the hundreds taken over the years by long-time Minnesota Women’s Press photographer (and current managing editor) Sarah Whiting.
As co-founder Glenda Martin wrote in the 10-year anniversary issue in 1996, “What is a feminist anyway? Many writers are defining, describing, honoring, refuting, disparaging the word, the idea, the concept. It’s difficult to find a consensus of what feminist means and equally difficult to find those who would claim the word for themselves without adding personal modifiers.
“Certainly, I’ve known feminism for 20 years, but what led me there? Perhaps growing up with a strong mom, a sweet dad, and a sister I took care of for many years. Perhaps having three women mentors at different points in my professional career during the ‘60s — each of whom was the first woman in her position. Perhaps it was teaching a full graduate load in the ‘70s at the University of Minnesota, where only men were the professors, and the women were paid one-third of what the men were.
“At Minnesota Women’s Press, we believe every woman has a story and that these stories combine to make the news of our time.”
Some of the stories in “35 Years of Minnesota Women” are excerpted stories about Anne Bancroft, Winona LaDuke, Louise Erdrich, Patty Wetterling, Vednita Carter, Pakou Hang, Carolyn Holbrook, Ann DeGroot, Peggy Flanagan, Sheila Wellstone, Mary McEvoy.
A few women in our “Feminisms” chapter include:
Our “Gender-based Violence” chapter includes a look back at what the Anita Hill testimony to Congress taught us about the need for a #MeToo movement, and reminders about how much effort women have had to invest in order to change a few attitudes about sexual violence since the 1980s.
In related stories to come we will highlight some pieces from the “Political Leadership,” “Ecofeminism,” “Pro-Choice,” and “Equity & Justice” chapters. Is it any wonder we had 162 pages to fill?
Co-founder Mollie Hoben came up with the concept of creating a publication that focused on women, because we tended to be invisible otherwise in traditional media.
Today — although the value of women, and those with more fluid identities, might be generally recognized more so than it was in 1985 — the mission of our publication has not changed.
During the past three years we have especially prioritized stories from women of color, as voices that continue being overlooked — perhaps until the last few months — in traditional venues.
In 2021, we also begin a concentrated effort on two new ventures:
Our intention, as always, is to lift up the insights we need to understand if we are to truly create a healthier society than we have ever had.
As I wrote in my Publisher’s Note for the book, when we started to compile the stories from the 35 years, “it was simultaneously heartening and disheartening to realize how many people have been fighting for the same things for decades.”
At the end of the book, previous co-publishers Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson write about what women still want:
After more than 35 years of asking for and seeking change, in 2022 the Minnesota Women’s Press community will be making change happen together through the new Changemakers Alliance, based off of the annual Changemakers we have been recognized in every December issue for decades.