As long as I've worked in media, which is a long time, Ellen Goodman's been there too. Her Pulitzer-prize-winning column, originating in the Boston Globe, has been a beacon and a landmark and a treasure.
And now it's ending. No, nobody fired her, she still has a large audience and many adoring readers but she's decided to stop. Here's part of what she said in her valedictory meditation on covering women in America - and I recommend you go read the entire thing:
My generation -- WOMEN -- thought the movement would advance on two legs. With one, we'd kick down the doors closed to us. With the other, we'd walk through, changing society for men and women.
It turned out that it was easier to kick down the doors than to change society. It was easier to fit into traditional male life patterns than to change those patterns. We've had more luck winning the equal right to 70-hour weeks than we've had selling the equal value of care-giving. We have yet to solve the problem raised at the outset: Who will take care of the family?
As a young mother and reporter, it did not occur to me that my daughter would face the same conflicts of work and family. Or, on the other hand, that my son-in-law would fully share those conflicts. I did not expect that over two-thirds of mothers would be in the work force before we had enough child care or sick pay.
Yes - those things are true. My own sons expect (and one has) wives who keep their names and expect to remain in the workforce. And yes, they still face issues of child care and equal pay and glass ceilings. The sad thing is, they won't have the provocative, inspiring, funny and very gifted voice of Ellen Goodman to cheer them on. Maybe she'll write another book though; if she does, I'll send a copy to each of them.