1973 March 10

Stewardesses for Women’s Rights Hold 2-Day Conference


The conference, Stewardesses for Women’s Rights, was part of a rising tide of protests of discriminatory employment practices against stewardesses. At that time, the job was limited to women; had the job title of stewardess (rather than the contemporary “flight attendant”); women were forced to retire in their mid-30s; and they were subject to weight-monitoring. The conference unveiled a new symbol: the traditional symbol for women but with wings added. Feminist leader Gloria Steinem addressed the conference.

For other protests and legal challenges to discriminatory airline practices, go to April 17, 1963, February 26, 1965, September 14, 1965, January 20, 1966, and November 12, 1973.

Watch a 1960s American Airlines commercial on their stewardesses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZGR3Bn9eMQ

Learn more: Kathleen M. Barry, Femininity in Flight: A History of Flight Attendants (2007)

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