Author Elizabeth Janeway explores how power structures create social divisions between the men and women both in U.S. and abroad. She considers what cultural and legal changes can be made to elevate the status of women from all backgrounds.
Madelon Bedell has just published the first in a two-volume biography of "Little Women" writer Louisa May Alcott and the Alcott family, "The Alcotts: Biography of a Family." She discusses not only the Alcotts, but also the social movements and philosophies that surrounded the family.
Deirdre Bair is known for her biography of playwright Samuel Beckett, "Samuel Beckett: A Biography." She is now the "designated" (not "official") biographer for French feminist and writer Simone de Beauvoir. She recently interviewed de Beauvoir for the first time in Paris, and joins the show to discuss their conversation.
Ellen Willis is a writer for the the New Yorker. Her collection of essays, "Beginning to See the Light: Pieces of a Decade," covers many of the social and political issues of the last ten years. Feminism, rock music, 60s counter-culture and the backlash against it, the changing definitions of "family" amongst the left, religion, and abortion are covered. She also discovers her reconsidering of Judaism and God in general, after a her brother became Orthodox. She joins the show to discuss the book and its subjects.
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)
Anthropologist Sheila Kitzinger has studied childbirth in cultures around the world. Her research suggests that better models of childbirth exist beyond what is practiced in British and American hospitals. Fresh Air host Terry Gross invites listeners to call in with their questions.
The iconic author of The Feminine Mystique believes that the women's movement needs to move toward what she calls "the second stage," which focuses on cultural and policy changes which foster a greater balance of work and home life.
Historian Philip Foner recently returned from a stint in China, where he lectured on the current state of civil rights, labor and women's movements in the United States. He shares his impressions of Chinese views on recent American history, as well as the current state of Chinese social conditions.