Shere Hite is a sex educator and feminist who is the author of "The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study on Female Sexuality." She recently wrote the follow-up, "The Hite Report On Male Sexuality." In the introduction to the report, Hite states that intercourse is both a "beautiful" and "oppressive" act. This segment contains frank discussion of sexual attitudes and practices. (PARTIAL INTERVIEW)
Journalist Charles Hardy and University of Georgia historian Deborah Herman both reflect on the history and impact of advice columns on the lives of bourgeois American women. Herman looks at six months' worth of Dear Abby columns in the 1950s to determine the state of and attitudes toward marriage during that decade.
Judith Martin, better known as Miss Manners, the name under which she writes her Washington Post advice column. She also reviews theater under her own name for the Post. She's recently written "Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior." Martin joins the show to defend the importance of etiquette, discuss class relations and manners, and answer Fresh Air staff's questions on topics such as splitting the check, catching an unzipped "fly," sexism and other "-isms' in the workplace, and the perils of modern dating and marriage.
Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood is popular in her home country and abroad. Her latest novel "The Handmaid's Tale," takes place in a future United States ruled by religious fundamentalists who assert "traditional" roles for women and force fertile women to reproduce. Atwood considers herself a feminist and is active in the writers' movement for intellectual freedom. Atwood is the President of the Canadian English-speaking section of the writers' group PEN.
Mamie Van Doren, one of Hollywood's blond bombshells in the fifties and sixties. She starred in the cult classics "Untamed Youth," "High School Confidential," and "Born Reckless." She's written a kiss-and-tell memoir called Playing the Field.
Playboy and Village Voice columnist Cynthia Heimel. Heimel brings her sassy wit to the plight of the single woman of the 80s, beset with such traumas as tackling urban life and surviving the Great Boyfriend Crunch. Her books include Sex Tips for Girls and But Enough About You. (Interview by Faith Middleton)