Editor’s Page

Summer 2015

Dear Readers,

Feminism suffuses this issue of Persimmon Tree. Letty Cottin Pogrebin, one of the founders of Ms. Magazine, leads off with thoughts on her body’s flaws. We invited you to respond to Vivian Gornick’s feminist polemic and you came through with comments short and long. Not surprisingly, you took a wide range of approaches, discussing religion, abortion, history, childhood, personal anecdotes, hopes and regrets, clothing.

Suzanne Juhasz’s claim, “Bringing an icon from second wave feminism into the present represents a remarkable sense of continuity between then and now,” and Janet Sunderland insisting “We have to raise our sons differently!” brought to mind two encouraging thoughts: the first is that my grandson, Oscar, at age nine, pays as much attention to gender dynamics in movies and TV programs as I do. (Perhaps that is why so many of his close friends are girls.) And two high school girls at the private girls’ school where I taught for 30 years recently created a forum for discussing feminism “in this day and age,” planning to “explore activism through art, using different media of expression to consider the ideas of diversity and modern feminism.” Note the word, “activism.” The movement continues.

With such a good response to this topic (and to earlier themes like nature and activism), we welcome suggestions for other themes you would like us all to tackle.

We will be trying a few new strategies to encourage more readers to join our mailing list, which is necessary for our continued existence. We await your responses to these invitations and, once again, ask you to spread the word in your community. Persimmon Tree needs your help to expand our circle of subscribers.

Have you listened to Robin Morgan’s interview with me on her radio program, Women’s Media Center Live? It is now a podcast – still online, perhaps forever … Click here to listen now or Download from iTunes (Episode #122).

Enjoy your summer – and let’s get out in the streets with our banners and our chants.

Sue Leonard




For 45 years, Sue Leonard taught every variety of history except American mostly at independent high schools for girls — with a brief stint in a poverty program school for pregnant teens in Bedford Stuyvesant. In the mid-nineties she and her late husband John Leonard were co-editors of the Books and Arts section of the Nation Magazine. Since retiring, Sue has filled up her days with reading, needlework, family, friends and long walks.