The New York Times has just announced that the new executive editor will be Jill Abramson, the very first woman to be executive editor at the Times. It is crazy to think that we are still experiencing these kinds of firsts for women in North America. That’s what I think of whenever I hear an ill-informed individual say things like “Why is feminism still around anyway? Women are like, equal now.” Well like equal isn’t good enough. It is so obvious that a woman can oversee an influential newspaper just as well as her male counterpart can; it is ridiculous that this is huge news. But it is, Abramson’s successful ascent to media power is incredibly huge news.
Women are still experiencing so many firsts in America! Let’s take some time to think about how recent some of womankind’s major first achievements have been:
In the 1850’s Mary Ann Shad Cary founded a newspaper after joining escaped slaves in Canada, which makes her the first black woman journalist!
Of 817 individuals to receive the Nobel Prize between 1901 and 2010, how many have been female? I’ll tell you: 40. Marie Curie was the first in 1903 with the Nobel Prize for Physics.
In 1920 America women first got the vote! French women didn’t get to vote until 1944! Sacré bleu!
In 1932, Hattie Wyatt Caraway became the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
In 1934 Lettie Pate Whitehead became the first American woman to serve as a director of a major corporation, which was the Coca-Cola Company.
After females had been trying to break into the astronaut program for over twenty years, in 1983 Dr. Sally K. Ride is successful, working as a mission specialist on the Challenger space shuttle.
Katie Couric became the first female anchor to host her own weekday network evening news broadcast in 2006, on CBS Evening News.
In 2007 Nancy Pelosi became the first person to serve at the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which made her the highest-ranking female politician in American history. Only 4 years ago, which is CRAZY.
And only last year, Kathryn Bigelow is the first woman to win an Academy Award as the best director for The Hurt Locker.
This is just a random smattering of ladies’ firsts throughout history, but goes to show just how recent the opportunities that we take for grated developments have become accessible for females. So Hell yes the New York Times executive editor is Jill Abramson! Current executive editor Bill Keller is stepping down from his post to write full-time for the newspaper. Abramson, a lifelong New Yorker, has been with the times since 1997 and managing editor since 2003. She grew up with Times: "In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion,” she said. “If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth." Her new position will take effect September 6. Another first for ladykind!