Fresh Air broadcasts a lecture by sociologist Ann Beuf, who looks at how patriarchal traditions have led to a strict division of gender roles within marriage and the family, the legal disenfranchisement of married women, and men's sometimes violent displays of power.
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.
Activist Dick Gregory recently gave a speech for the Ford Hall Forum that was recorded by NPR. Today, Fresh Air will play an excerpt of that speech, on the subject "Are Minorities Really Powerless?" The topics addressed in the excerpt are the 1980 presidential election, Gregory's distaste for the concept of "voting for the lessor of two evils," and the "choicelessness" the common voter feels. The speech was given prior to the election.
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.
Novelist Joyce Carol Oates delivers a talk at the Free Library of Philadelphia on the topic of "Women in Twentieth Century Literature." Oates traces women in the imaginations male writers of the era including John Updike, William Faulkner, Norman Mailor, William Styron, and D. H. Lawrence.