John Tepper Marlin, TAKE UP THE SONG & Marge Piercy, SEX WARS

August 26 is Women’s Equality Day. It marks the anniversary of the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution granting women the right to vote. In this episode, WV features two women who were important to the fight for women’s suffrage but whose names are less known than those of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

We talk with John Tepper Marlin about his great aunt, suffragette Inez Milholland.  He’s the author of a play about  the women’s suffrage movement, Take Up The Song. Then we re-play our 2007 interview with writer Marge Piercy about her novel, Sex Wars.  It’s about another great figure of the first women’s equality movement, Victoria Woodhull — the first woman to run for president.

John Tepper Marlin

While visiting a neighbor the other day, Francesca happened to notice a striking poster framed on the wall. It pictured a young woman  robed in white riding proudly on a horse and carrying a banner. The poster identifies her as Inez Milholland Boissevain “who died for the freedom of women.”

Francesca’s neighbor, John Tepper Marlin, explained that the poster pictured his great aunt Inez Milholland. Known as “The Fairest of the Amazons” by her admiring contemporaries, Milholland was the famous suffragette who rode her horse in marches in New York and Washington, D.C. demanding the right to vote.

Marlin wrote a play about the women’s suffrage movement entitled Take Up The Song, which has been performed in New York City, Rochester New York and Virginia and elsewhere.

John Tepper Marlin is the former chief economist for the comptroller of New York City and the founder and president of Boissevain Books, a small publishing house in New York.

Read John Tepper Marlin’s piece about Inez Milholland for the East Hampton Star

Marge Piercy

Back in 2007, we spoke with well-known author and novelist Marge Piercy about her novel Sex Wars. It’s about another great figure of the women’s suffrage movement, Victoria Woodhull. We re-air that interview here.

Marge Piercy is the author of numerous books, including the novels Woman On The Edge of Time, Vida and Gone To Soldiers. She is also a poet and memoirist.

Read an excerpt from Sex Wars