10/31/2011 07:56 am ET Updated Dec 31, 2011

'Ms.' Magazine Anniversary: Founders Recount Launch Of Pioneering Feminist Magazine

In the years leading up to the birth of Ms., women had trouble getting a credit card without a man's signature, had few legal rights when it came to divorce or reproduction, and were expected to aspire solely to marriage and motherhood. Job listings were segregated ("Help wanted, male"). There was no Title IX (banning sex discrimination in federally funded athletic programs); no battered-women's shelters, rape-crisis centers, and no terms such as sexual harassment and domestic violence.

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