Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Friday, January 2, 2015

Ms.--A Magazine of Our Own

Ms. Magazine (2 January 1972)

In January of 1972, Ms. published its first stand-alone issue--various sites online note the date of publication for that first issue as 2 January, so I'm writing about Ms. today.

The magazine had made its first appearance as a forty-page insert in the 21 December 1971 issue of New York magazine. As editor Clay Felker described the enterprise, 
Partly out of the notion that success breeds success, and partly for reasons I’ll come to later on, we are now giving our support to another new magazine. The central 40 pages of this issue of New York—a double issue, covering the two-week period from now to the first of the year—consist of a preview issue of Ms., a national magazine edited totally by women, among them Gloria Steinem of our own staff. It is devoted to women—not as role players, but as full human beings.
Women as "full human beings"! Can you imagine?

(You can read the entire editor's letter, "What is Ms. and What Is It Doing in New York" by clicking here.)

The January 1972 issue of Ms. was launched as a "test" issue, but it sold out its initial 300,00 copies in just eight days. The magazine began monthly publication later that year, in July; since 2001, the magazine has been published by the Feminist Majority Foundation.

The cover of the first stand-alone issue of the magazine