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My wife, Patti Digh, and I have long talked about the history of normalcy—a history of what looks to be “normal”, or standard, or acceptable at one time that became not so over the course of time. Buying and selling human beings, women and their children being property of her spouse, Chinese immigrants not have (any) legal rights, are three good candidates (among thousands) for this history. It is an interesting proposition to think about—what things around you, or better yet, what thing you think or say or do, that look good and acceptable today might look embarrassing and unacceptable thirty years hence. In 1935 one issue might’ve been accepting the codified behavior of treating women as less than equal of men, deserving less in the workplace (if they were in the workplace), less rights in the courts, less deserving of equality in general; by 1965, this viewpoint may have well been in the minority; by 1995 it begins to look fossilized; by 2025 it might well be unbelievable. What are the issues of 2009 that could be the equivalent of the 1935 issue?
And so the first in th is series: the October 1951 issue of Life magazine’s article
by Carl Mydans (the great and esteemed war and documentary photographer), “Girl
War Correspondent”. It is a sympathetic
look at a sharp minority in the American newspaper business: the female war correspondent. Or, in this case, the “girl” correspondent.
One would hardly refer to Edward Murrow as “the male correspondent Edward R.
Murrow”, or “Edward R. Murrow, Boy Correspondent”. The “girl” in this case was Miss Marguerite
Higgins (1920-1966), aged 30. She was a
correspondent for the New York In spite of all that she was banned from covering the war in Korea
In spite of all that she was banned from covering the war in Korea
In spite of it all,
given her experience in WWII and her developing coverage in Korea
Three interesting works on women war correspondents:
Penny Colemans’s Where the Action Was: Women War Correspondents in World War II
The Women Who Wrote the War by Nancy Caldwell Sorel
War, Women, and the News: How Female Journalists Won the Battle to Cover World War II by Catherine Gourley