On Bra Burning [28m]

Wherein Dr Eaton schools Sarah on the origins of the feminist “bra burner” myth.

Follow-ups from this ep…

Our “What is Feminism?” episode

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “Can people please stop telling me feminism is hot?”

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3 thoughts on “On Bra Burning [28m]

  1. Fascinating! Thanks for the analysis and setting the record straight. Even though I’m old enough to remember these protests, I’d come to accept the version offered up by the media. I also recall a sitcom called Maude, starring Bea Arthur as a ‘liberated’ woman. It had these memorable theme song lyrics:

    Lady Godiva was a freedom rider,
    She didn’t care if the whole world looked,
    Joan of Arc with the Lord to guide her,
    She was a sister who really cooked,
    Isadora was the first bra-burner,
    Ain’t ya glad she showed up? (Oh yeah!)
    And when the country was fallin’ apart,
    Betsy Ross got it all sewed u

    Nobody was quite clear about the Isadora reference, but the assumption was that it referred to Isadora Duncan, a creator ouf modern dance who died in 1927. So far as anyone knows, she may not have worn bras, since she preferred loose clothing, but she never burnt one. (And ironically, her long, loose scarf resulted in a freak accident that killed her.)


    • OF COURSE! we were delighted. i’ve never actually seen “maude” though i’ve always heard it was pivotal… perhaps that should go on the list. i have been watching the various seasons of “rhoda” (who was “maude”‘s contemporary on tv) on repeat lately and they’re so timely, even now. and fyi, the story of isadora duncan’s scarf and her freak accident is one the eaton family returns to a strange lot for some reason (my love of scarves?! not sure).


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