How to occupy Wall Street

Before June 20, 1986, a woman could not be a Ms. in the pages of The Times.
“The top editor had persuaded the publisher, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, that the usage was a passing fad,” a groundbreaking Times editor, Betsy Wade, wrote recently.

The New York Times announced on June 20, 1986, that it would embrace the use of “Ms.” as an honorific.
The New York Times
So reporters had to pry when interviewing women: Are you Miss or Mrs.?
“It’s none of your damned business!” reporters were sometimes told.
In 1972, “Ms.” was accepted by the American Heritage School Dictionary.
But it took protests, internal pressure, time and a smart strategy to persuade The Times to follow suit.
Paula Kassell, a feminist writer and publisher, bought Times stock so that she could raise questions about the policy at shareholders’ meetings.
In April 1986, she persuaded Mr. Sulzberger to convene language experts — but then received word that the paper would allow “Ms.” without further discussion.
As The Times prepared its first edition using “Ms.,” Ms. Wade wrote, “Gloria Steinem, Mary Thom and other editors of Ms. magazine walked into the city room with a basket of flowers for the editor” — A. M. Rosenthal — “and the copy editors and reporters applauded.”
David Dunlap contributed reporting.
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