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Suzanne Braun Levine
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Suzanne Braun Levine is a writer, editor, lecturer and authority on women, families and changing gender roles. The first editor of Ms. magazine and the first woman editor of the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review, she reports on the ongoing changes in women's lives in her books, on television, radio, at lectures and on her web site: SuzanneBraunLevine.com

Her new ebook: Can Men Have It All?: What the 'Daddy Track' Means for Women (Shebooks.net/2014)) examines the changing role of fatherhood and the state of the work-life balance for modern couples, a subject she introduced in her pioneering book: Father Courage: What Happens When Men Put Family First.

"Suzanne Braun Levine's book is a smart, humane, nuanced look at the lives of men and women who are proving that men can do what women can do. It's the other half of the revolution." -- Gloria Steinem

"This wise and deeply serious book charts the next step forward. Levine's ear and eye for the telling phrase and detail make her a brilliant guide in a journey toward a world where men put family first, and we all benefit."
-- Carol Gilligan

Her first ebook YOU GOTTA HAVE GIRLFRIENDS - A Post-Fifty Posse Is Good For Your Health (Open Road Integrated Media/2013) is the fourth chapter in her on-going exploration of women in second adulthood, a new stage of life she celebrated in her popular books beginning with Inventing the Rest of Our Lives, 50 Is the New Fifty and How We Love Now. She was a presenter at TEDx Women "ReBirth" session in 2011 chaired by Jane Fonda.

She was honored on MAKERS.com for Women's History Month 2014.

Levine's features appear on Huff/Post50, AARP, Feminist.com, NextAvenue and she introduced the "Inventing the Rest of My Life" column on the More magazine web site. She contributes to Encore.org, The Transition Network.org, and VibrantNation.com and has appeared on Oprah, Charlie Rose, NPR and numerous other media outlets.

While at Ms. she developed and produced the Peabody Award-winning HBO Special: She's Nobody's Baby: American Women in the 20th Century, narrated by Marlo Thomas and Alan Alda, and edited the book based on the documentary. She conceived and co-edited A Decade of Women: A Ms. History of the Seventies in Words and Pictures.

Suzanne was the guest Editor-in-Chief of the 30th Anniversary issue of Ms. magazine in 2002 and was honored as a "Ms. Woman of the Year" in 2004. Her papers from her years at Ms. are now in the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's Archives at Smith College. In 2007, she co-authored (with author and editor, Mary Thom) a widely acclaimed oral history of New York Congresswoman BELLA ABZUG.

She is on the Board of Encore.org - second acts for the greater good , the non-profit think tank on boomers, work and social purpose that has launched the Encore Careers Movement, the Ms. Foundation for Education and Communication, Inc., and the Advisory Board for the Women's Media Center and The Transition Network.

Suzanne began her magazine journalism career as an editor and reporter for Seattle, Mademoiselle, McCall's and Sexual Behavior magazines after graduating with honors from Harvard University. She has received numerous honors and taught journalism at several universities.

She lives in New York with her husband Robert F. Levine. They have two adult children.

Entries by Suzanne Braun Levine

Selective Memories...

(4) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 7:40 AM

When we were cleaning out my mother's home of 60 years, I found an envelope in the handwriting of my father who had died 30 years earlier. It said, "to be opened in case of my death abroad." He traveled a lot and alone, so I could understand his concern...

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How Dads Love Now!

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 6:20 AM

While the work-life balancing act remains difficult for working couples -- more and more dads are committed to finding a way to make it work. They are making parenting a priority, creating the time for the moments with their kids that one calls the "miracle" of fatherhood.

And there are more and more of them. According to a recent Pew Research Study, fathers have tripled their time with children since 1965. The number of stay-at-home dads is at a record high of 2 million (up from 1.1 million in 1989). While many are home because they are unable to find a job, the Pew Report released this month states: "21 percent are mainly staying home to care for family, a four-fold increase from 1989."

I interviewed lots of engaged fathers for my e-book Can Men Have It All? I salute them on this Father's Day. Meet a few of them:

*Peter Mountford, a stay-at-home dad described the assumptions people make when they see him doing errands with his kids - nine-month-old Sadie and three-year-old Anna - in a blog on Slate titled: "I'm Not a Hero for Taking Care of My Kids - I'm also not baby-sitting them. I'm their dad." He wrote, "more or less every week a stranger informs me that I am a 'hero' for taking care of my kids while their mother, my wife, is at work making the money that we require....It goes without saying that when Jen was with the kids for her six months, no one ever stopped her in the grocery store to tell her she was a hero."

*As one man said in a Comment on Mountford's blog: "After assessing the last 29 years of my life (complete with 6 ½ years in the army, 11 years of college, and one failed marriage), I'm just not willing to put work before family any more. And I don't really care what society has to say about!"

*Andrew talks proudly about the almost military action plan and strategic trade-offs he and his wife have made in order to integrate their two jobs with their three children. He is an orthopedic surgeon in Cincinnati who generally works from 6 a.m till 4 p.m. "I chose orthopedics, which is, of all the surgeries, the most family-compatible, the most independent," Andrew, 32, says. "It's mostly elective surgery, so you set your own schedule...The amazing thing is - and I think this is an amazing thing - that there have been almost no days that our children have gone without seeing us."

*Nick, a 42-year-old computer technician from Denver and father of three, puts it this way: "Problems that kids are having or thoughts that they're having--they don't come out on schedule. If you're not there, you don't know anything. Those bonding moments come from being in the right place."

*Mike told his boss: "Say, I'm going to leave the office at 6:30, no matter what messages I have to return. I take them with me, return some in the car on the way home, play with the kids, have dinner, and am on the phone again; I leave voice mails, write e-mails, and call the coast. I know I only have a window from 6:30 to 8:30 with the kids. I push the business to either side of that time frame."

It is self-evident to these men that when it comes to children, "quantity time is a prerequisite to quality time." That's how Ken. R. Canfield has put it in his book The Heart of a Father. "It takes quantity time," Canfield insists, "to build a relationship of mutual trust, and trust is absolutely necessary for real quality time."

*Bill, who oversees worker safety at a New Jersey pharmaceutical company, says there is a "dessert" component in his job that he must resist. His commitment to being a major player in the lives of his two children (ages 11 and 15) has not cost him career momentum, but he says he has passed up the chance to extend his education and--by limiting his travel--to work face-to-face with employees in far-flung manufacturing sites. "I told them that if people like me don't take advantage of dessert, it's not because we don't appreciate it or because we aren't hungry, but because we are trying to eat well-balanced meals."

Last weekend, dads pushing strollers, members of the NYC Dads Group, invaded Central Park before joining a coalition of men, including Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy (who was criticized for taking paternity leave this year) to discuss the evolving role of fathers prior to The White House Summit on Working Families (June 23, 2014).

Follow Suzanne Braun Levine on Twitter: https://twitter.com/suzanneblevine

www.suzannebraunlevine.com

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Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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Our Sons Are Changing Fatherhood, But Can Men Have It All?

(2) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 8:46 AM

The notion of 'Having It All' has been with us since the early days of the women's movement. It was maddening to us at Ms. magazine to see how the empowering-sounding phrase was used against us by the individuals and institutions that had a vested interest in the...

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Celebrating Women's History Month: The Stories We Tell

(6) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 9:42 AM

Back in 1972, when I signed on at Ms. magazine, our mission was to document the history women were making every day. Early detractors, like newsman Harry Reasoner, dismissed those efforts by pronouncing the material too sparse to sustain a magazine for more than a few issues. But...

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7 Reasons I Would Never Want To Be Young Again

(133) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 6:34 AM

I spent last evening at dinner with my "post-50 posse" (that's what I call that special group of special friends in my eBook You Gotta Have Girlfriends). We have been meeting once a month since 1989, and over the years we have come to count on each other...

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Age Power: Why Should Celebrating Getting Older Be Wasted On The Young?

(4) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 7:15 AM

"To deny your age is to deny yourself," Oprah said recently. Amen to that. Conversely, admitting your age is empowering not only yourself but every woman who is made to feel less valuable because she is over forty. Or fifty. Or seventy.

My mother denied her age all...

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'Unlikely' In Love: Why I'm Urging My Friend Anne To Go For Online Dating

(20) Comments | Posted September 20, 2013 | 7:39 AM

My friend Anne just turned 60, and she looks great. She has a great job, the capstone to a great career. She has two kids she adores and two ex-husbands she doesn't. She is full of energy and curiosity and has tons of friends. But no "boyfriend" (to resurrect a...

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Here's To The Empowerment Entrepreneur In Each Of Us -- Celebrate Women's Equality Day

(2) Comments | Posted August 26, 2013 | 8:15 AM

We have "Battling" Bella Abzug to thank for Women's Equality Day on August 26. The crusading Congresswoman from New York initiated the legislation that mandated it back in 1971. Writing an oral history of Bella with my late girlfriend and colleague Mary Thom was...

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Girlfriend Power: Your Post-50 Posse Can Change The World

(2) Comments | Posted August 1, 2013 | 7:51 AM

Girlfriends Day is a great idea. It invites us to search for the words and gestures that can only begin to acknowledge the importance of our own precious "circle of trust." Moreover, unlike the other designated days of honor, this one isn't about one person; it is about the alchemy...

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What's Different About Guyfriends? Notes From My Life-Long Friendship With Nick

(2) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 7:17 AM

I've been writing a lot about my own girlfriends lately in connection with my new e-book You Gotta Have Girlfriends: A Post-fifty Posse is Good for Your Health, and each time I sit down to describe my "circle of trust" I wonder what to do with my lifelong...

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You Are More Beautiful Than You Think!

(43) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 7:23 AM

I'm not crazy about the current Dove campaign in which a police artist draws a portrait of a forty-ish woman from her description (dour and harsh) and then draws another from the description by another woman who has spent a little time with her (warmer and more pleasant...

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Remembering My Mother's Life-Affirming Death -- Especially On Mother's Day

(3) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 8:37 AM

As any woman who has lost her mother does, I think of her especially on Mother's Day. In fact, I think I will always consider Mother's Day her day, not mine. And when I think of her life, I also remember the gift of her peaceful death.

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You Gotta Have Girlfriends; A Post-50 Posse Is Good For Your Health

(5) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 4:39 PM

The best thing a man can do for his health is to be married to a woman. One of the best things a woman can do for her health is to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends, especially as we get older. The longer we live,...

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The War Against Families: What Women, Parents And Boomers Have in Common

(7) Comments | Posted March 17, 2013 | 8:03 AM

In her widely debated new book Lean In, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg called it "the ultimate chicken and egg situation." She is talking about the endless back and forth about what is holding women back from Having It All, whether the system needs to change in order for women to...

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Why Men Need To Talk To Each Other About Love, Sex And Intimacy

(34) Comments | Posted February 6, 2013 | 6:59 AM

Frequently after I have talked about the challenging changes and opportunities that are confronting women at a lecture, a man will come up to me and say, "Why don't you do your next book about men? We are going through a lot of the same transitions that women are." To...

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Are You Old Enough to Know What Love Is?

(4) Comments | Posted January 16, 2013 | 12:43 PM

I am making a new friend.... I think; you never know about such things until you are actually there, at intimacy. But this friendship is already taking a surprising turn.

I find myself going at it in a very different way from relationship-building in the past. I am still looking...

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Unfriending Is Hard To Do, But Toxic Friendships Take Their Toll

(13) Comments | Posted October 29, 2012 | 10:52 AM

Like most women my age, as the years accumulate I get more and more selective about who I consider real friends, while at the same time, more and more committed to those who form my "circle of trust." The trouble is that paring down my inner circle can be hurtful,...

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First Words About Last Wishes: The Conversation Project

(4) Comments | Posted October 1, 2012 | 10:12 AM

"You have just one more decision to make," the young hospice doctor was saying. He had already taken me through the requirements and responsibilities of the decision-maker in the program. My mother met the criteria for the patient: she didn't appear to have more than three months to live; and...

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Is Meryl Streep Our Generation's Next Helen Gurley Brown?

(2) Comments | Posted August 15, 2012 | 11:15 AM

The fact that Meryl Streep's new movie "Hope Springs" opened and Helen Gurley Brown died in the same week seems to me a passing of a very important baton. The baton our Post50 generation needs to get us moving toward an honest and candid discussion about sex. Helen did it...

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Enough About "Having It All"!

(1) Comments | Posted July 26, 2012 | 5:14 PM

"Having it all" is probably the most misunderstood phrase since, as the late great Erma Bombeck once said about the ERA, "one size fits all." It has come up whenever there is a backlash -- and there have been many -- against the increasing empowerment of women. The implication that...

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