Twentieth Century Foxes Twelve centenarians reflect on women' progress an offer advice.
Time Capsule Capturing the century through the objects that changed women's lives
Women on The Verge of 2000

-Just the Facts
-Word: (My) Lord
-Have You Seen This Potato?

What About Tomorrow?>by Marcia Ann Gillespie
-Go Figure: Wag Gap Wrangling
-Why the Consulting Business Is Becoming Woman Friendly
-Women Architects: If You Build It
Who Knew? A compendium of women's deeds, feats, and innovations
-Great Leaps Forward -Artswatch
Being There A look back at the events that shaped and changed America during the twentieth century
-Novel Companions: Writers on Books They Treasure

- Editor's Page
- Letters
- Making Waves
- No Comment

- Activists: The Bottom Line for '99
-Liberte, Egalite, Parite
-NOW Does Hollywood
-Opinion: Abortion and Crime
-Women on the Verge of 2000
-Mexico City's Women Traffic Cops
-Opinion: Guns and Lobsters
-Indian Women Sue Canadian Feds
- Under Fire: The Year of the Gun
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Bikini When designer Louis Reard introduced his itsy-bitsy two-piece number in Paris in 1946, it marked the beginning of the end--of head-to-toe covering on the beach, that is. The century started with women sunbathing in layers of wool and ended with them scantily clad--and in some cases buck naked.

Sports Uniforms Women made huge breakthroughs in sports this century. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was formed during World War II when the guys were in the trenches and not on the benches. Soccer became a symbol of the success of women's sports as a result of Title IX. The craze reached its zenith when the U.S women's team won the World Cup in 1999, showing that women athletes could draw huge crowds. Though women's basketball has been played throughout the century, it wasn't until the early 1990s that professional leagues exploded onto the scene. Suffrage Sash It took more than 100 years of activism for women to finally take ownership of what should have been theirs all along--the right to vote. Lavendar Menace T-Shirt The term "Lavender Menace," which was a code for the feminists-as-lesbians stereotype, eventually came to symbolize the struggle for lesbian rights both within the women's movement and in society in general.
Bra/Running Shoes In the late 1970s, women eager to gain strength and stamina got new support from a part of inventive joggers who stitched two jockstraps into a sports-bra prototype. The bra gave women enough comfort to exercise with abandon. Running shoes, meanwhile, became the symbol of the fitness craze, proving to be a boon for U.S. women who wanted to step in the right stride. But they were boondoggle for women factory workers in Asia, who were making the shoes for little money and horrendous conditions, while the manufacturers like Nike were peddling their sneakers for as much as $200 a pair.
Disposable Diaper/Infant Formula Although the disposable diaper pampered mom, it didn't pamper Mother Earth--the average disposable takes 500 years to biodegrade. In the 1950s the baby bottle was as ubiquitous as the hoola hoop, and instant formula was touted as a modern development that released mothers from having to stay home and feed their infants. Though breast milk contains a slew of nutrients that formula can't reproduce, at the end of the millenium more than one third of all mothers in the U.S. did not breast-feed their newborns.
Flapper Dress and Home Scale The struggle over body image began to emerge in the 1920s, when the "boyish" flapper look became fahionable and the home scale aided the obsessions with thinness. Earlier, women could check their wight only at conunty fairs and drugstores. Metracal (not shown) Introduced in the early 1950s, the first diet supplement turned a chocolate shake into a supposedly healthy meal that could be eatedn on the run. It became yet another emblem of the hunger to be thin. It was followed by a flood of other diet products.

Copyright Ms. Magazine 2009