Huffpost Fifty
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Sandi Bachom Headshot

Sandi Bachom: And I Burned My Bra For This?

Posted: Updated:

I grew up under the Hollywoodland sign.

Eisenhower was my first president. We didn't own a TV, but we had an icebox, we 'watched' the radio and music was called "Popular."

We were War Babies, born at the end of WWII, now on Medicare and Social Security. Dick Clark dubbed us the first 'teenagers.' We invented Rock and Roll, we grew up in the decades of the greatest social change in history... and we are never getting old.

When my parents returned from the "Great War" there was no housing so we lived in a tin Quonset hut in Roger Young Village, later to become the Griffith Park Zoo and in the summer... it was not unlike living in a frying pan.

Barry Goldwater was the first president I voted for in the 1964 election. "In our hearts we knew he was right" and besides, my mother voted for him. She was a 'card carrying' member of the John Birch Society and believed Fluoridation to be a Communist plot long before Dr. Strangelove.

Like Forest Gump, I seemed to be the right age at the right (or wrong) time in history.

On a crisp November day, I sat on the dewy lawn of Orange Coast Junior College and silently wept when our president was assassinated, as I did on that perfect September morning watching the draconian plume of smoke rising from lower Manhattan.

In 1965 I moved to New York. Cigarettes cost 25 cents a pack, there were no fax, answering or cash machines.

Lyndon B. Johnson announced the creation of Medicare and the sexual revolution began in earnest with the advent of the birth control pill...up to that point, we just had to keep an aspirin between our knees.

And so began the swinging turbulent 60s of which I don't remember much... because I was there. The women's "Lib" movement was born and we were all having sex with strangers and reading Erica Jong's "Fear of Flying." We hit the streets with banners and no bras.

We marched for civil rights and against the war. We saw Hendrix and Joplin and could tell you where we were when every single Beatles album came out.

I made $50 a week at my very first real job on Madison Avenue. It was the days of Mad Men. I wore hot pants and mini skirts to work, we drank booze and smoked Marlboro's and for the next 20 years, I was the "top 3% of women wage earners." And when I was making six figures, it was still less than men doing the same job, but we didn't seem to mind, because we were all making so much money and it seemed like it would never end.

In 1972 I got my first American Express card and never used it.

Roe v. Wade, making abortion legal, was about to be the law of the land. Helen Reddy on the radio was declaring, "I am woman hear me roar!"

In 1987 "Fatal Attraction" was a wakeup call to every man in America and in 1991 when Anita Hill was testifying against Long Dong Silver... the human resources department at my ad agency was giving sensitivity training to all the employees about sexual harassment, which of course was rampant. Any woman in business can give you book chapter and verse on that subject, but you didn't say anything if you wanted to keep or get a job, you daren't say a word lest you be branded with a Scarlet A, and Clarence Thomas now sits on the Supreme Court.

Which is why, what the Republicans are doing to us, trying to blast us back to the 50s, the 1850's, is just wrong! The idea of 'redefining rape' and overturning Roe v. Wade is just wrong. To have panels on contraception without one woman present is just wrong! When Sandra Fluke is called a "slut" is just wrong.

The Right is just... WRONG! One bit of schadenfreude, hearing repressed men having to say, "Vaginal probe, forcible rape and Free Pussy Riot!"

There will be no fewer abortions if they have their way, They will just drive it underground ...again.

More women of my generation need to speak up, women who were there who had back alley abortions, who were around before birth control. Women who experienced the agonizing decision to terminate a pregnancy before and after they had the choice to do so! I can't believe we are still talking about this; don't these interlopers know that we have already fought and won this battle?

"We are women hear us roar!" ...and we will remember in November.

I stood on the convention floor at the 1988 Democratic Convention in Atlanta when Governor Ann Richards declared, "Ginger Rogers did everything Fred did...only backwards... and in high heels."

New York City Women's Right's March 8/26/12

Sandi Bachom is the author of "Denial Is Not a River in Egypt," "Hell in the Hallway" and "The Wrath of Grapes."