Gloria Steinem Remembers Norman MailerIt wasn’t lost on the activists at the National Women’s Conference at Hunter College that literary lion Norman Mailer, whose writing became a target of feminist wrath during the seventies, died in New York on the same day that their event began. The weekend-long program, which drew members of some 50 women’s and girls’ organizations, was planned by the late congresswoman Bella Abzug’s daughter Liz to mark the 30th anniversary of the first such gathering in Houston. And while the elder Abzug once told Mailer, “We think your views on women are full of s—,” she supported him in his losing 1969 campaign for mayor of New York, as did Gloria Steinem, who spoke Sunday morning to a cheering crowd of about 600 women from 21 states who had attended workshops with titles like “Smashing the Glass Ceiling.”
Bella Abzug Was Not in ‘The Apartment’Congresswoman Bella Azbug was once asked to be a stand-in for Shirley MacLaine in The Apartment, but she declined. On the set of her first movie, Kim Cattrall was told she resembled Marilyn Monroe, “not in looks, of course, but in lack of talent.” Harold Ford and three blondes hung out at Blue Ribbon Sushi till 2 a.m. Chris Robinson is happy that ex Kate Hudson is dating Dax Shepard because now he has more time to hang out with their 3-year-old son. The kiddie imprint of Simon & Schuster is releasing a guide to orgy etiquette. Ted Turner still owes merely $642 million of the $1 billion he pledged to donate to the U.N. a decade ago. Elton John once tried to commit suicide by sticking his head in an oven, though he used a pillow and put the gas on low.
in the magazine
Summer of Sam Revisited: ‘New York’ on the Dems’ Lousy Mayoral CampaignThe Summer of Sam was also the summer of a hotly contested Democratic mayoral primary. Ed Koch, Mario Cuomo, and Bella Abzug were just a few of the politicians vying for the city crown amid all the chaos, and in a September 1977 issue of New York, Doug Ireland was disgusted with the whole process. “Surely this is the oddest Democratic primary in recent history. Seldom have the voters in our town had such a hopeless welter of nonissues thrown at them in a mayoral campaign,” he wrote. “[I]n a city still reeling from a swelter summer of blackouts, looting, criminally high unemployment, and Son of Sam, most candidates are as afraid of the voters as the voters are of the muggers in the streets.” Take a look at the whole article for a flashback to city politics, seventies style.
Democratic Dogfight: A Hopeless Welter of Nonissues [NYM (pdf)]
Earlier: Summer of Sam Revisited: ‘New York’ on the Search for Sam