A giant Miss America puppet, a trash can, a very peculiar sheep and around 400 women were enough to make history on September 7, 1968. On this day, theatre and rebellion converged to bring forth one of the most memorable protests of American feminism. This podcast aims to explore, with the help of three excellent professors, the events that occurred during the famous Miss America pageant protest. We analyse the singular techniques used in the protest and unveil the hidden symbolisms behind them. We explain its origins as well as its impact, and explore some of the controversies around it, triggered primarily, as we’ll see, by a very unsympathetic press.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
- Dr Illan rua Wall, Associate Professor at the School of Law, Warwick University: For his immense help and support during the creation of this podcast.
- Professor Beth Kreydatus, Associate Professor in the department of Focused Inquiry at Virginia Commonwealth University: For her very valuable participation as an interviewee.
- Professor Barbara Cutter, Associate professor of history at the University of Northern Iowa: For her very valuable participation as an interviewee.
- Emeritus Professor Janelle Reinelt who was at the School of theatre and performance at the University of Warwick: For her very valuable participation as an interviewee.
- Laman Zubair. Student at the School of Law, Warwick University: For her voice and support.
- Alice Echols, Daring to be Bad (University of Minnesota Press 1989)
- Sara Evans, Personal politics: the roots of women’s liberation in the civil rights movement and the new left(Vintage Books 1980)
- Bonnie J. Dow, Watching Women’s Liberation, 1970: Feminism’s Pivotal Year on the Network News (University of Illinois Press 2014)
- Georgia Paige Welch, ‘Up Against the Wall Miss America: Women’s Liberation and Miss Black America in Atlantic City, 1968’ (2015) 27 (2) Feminist Formations <https://0-search-proquest-com.pugwash.lib.warwick.ac.uk/docview/1719217780?accountid=14888>
- Beth Kreydatus, “Confronting the ‘Bra-Burners’: Teaching Radical Feminism with a Case Study” (2008) 41 (4) The History Teacher <www.jstor.org/stable/40543887>
BLOGS AND NEWSPAPERS:
- Allison McNearney, ‘I Was There: The 1968 Miss America Pageant Protest’ (History, 7 Sept 2018) <https://www.history.com/news/miss-america-protests-1968>
- Laura Tanenbaum and Mark Engler, ‘How ‘No More Miss America’ Announced a Feminist Upheaval’ The Nation (7 Sept 2018) <https://www.thenation.com/article/how-no-more-miss-america-announced-a-feminist-upheaval/>
- ‘No More Miss America!’ (Redstockings, 1968) <https://www.redstockings.org/index.php/no-more-miss-america>
- Charlotte Curtis, ‘Miss America Pageant is Picketed by 100 Women’ The New York Times (8 Sept 1968) <https://repository.duke.edu/dc/wlmpc/maddc02019>
- Olivia B. Waxman, ‘’I Was Terrified’: Inside a History-Making Protest With the Women Who Took on the Miss America Competition’ Time (7 Sept 2018) <https://time.com/5387623/miss-america-protest/>
- Roxane Gay, ‘Fifty Years Ago, Protesters Took on the Miss America Pageant and Electrified the Feminist Movement’ (Smithsonian, Jan 2018) <https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/fifty-years-ago-protestors-took-on-miss-america-pageant-electrified-feminist-movement-180967504/>
- Natasha Zaretsky, ‘The Miss America Protests at 50’ (Jacobin, 9 Jul 2018) <https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/09/miss-america-1968-feminist-protest>
- Nell Greenfieldboyce, ‘Pageant protest sparked bra-burning myth’ (NPR, 5 Sept 2008) <https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94240375&from=mobile>
- CBGP News, ‘Up Against the Wall Miss America (1968) – Second-wave Feminism Protest – Atlantic City, New Jersey’ (6 Sept 2018) <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dffBFG9xgYY>
- Jonny House, ‘1968: Atlantic City Bra Burning’ <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDGGcrXnd8Y&t=65s>
- Silver Lanyard – Blue Dot Sessions
- Great Great Lengths – Blue Dot Sessions
- Sals Plsace – Blue Dot Sessions
- Phase 1 – Xylo Ziko
- The Poplar Grove – Blue Dot Sessions
- Loopy – Blue Dot Sessions
- Carnival of Venice – Bohumir Kryl
- Newswoman’s voice (Created using ‘Narrator’s voice’)
- Sheep sound (From “Sheep sounds for kids” video)
- Original recordings of the protesters, crowd and the director of the pageant (Art Buchwald). From podcast ‘First Protests at the Miss America Pageant’. Credit to: ‘WNYC News’.