One of the most radical and troubled of early feminists, “Shulie” was described this way by Susan Faludi in the New Yorker.
Few were as radical, or as audacious, as Shulamith Firestone. Just over five feet tall, with a mane of black hair down to her waist, and piercing dark eyes behind Yoko Ono glasses, Firestone was referred to within the movement as “the firebrand” and “the fireball.” “She was aflame, incandescent,” Ann Snitow, the director of the gender-studies program at the New School and a member of the early radical cadre, told me. “It was thrilling to be in her company.”
Andy Warhol’s would-be assassin has already showed up as the subject of the film I Shot Andy Warhol, but it would be delicious to get a glimpse of the writer of the SCUM Manifesto , whose act of anti-Warholian violence caused further divisions in the feminist ranks (interesting fact: Florynce Kennedy defended Solanas in court).
Rich, the famous poet and activist, spent the late ’60s — she was a professor at Columba — getting so political and hosting so many radical gatherings that her husband became convinced she was losing her mind (he later killed himself). Vivacious and bold, she’d also be a fascinating character for Dunham herself to portray.
Lorde, a poet who palled around with Rich and Alice Walker, among others, was an early and strong critic of white feminism’s inattentiveness to race. In the ’60s, she was writing in New York, so she’d be well situated for an appearance on the show. Furthermore, Lorde was a mistress of words, making her one of the most frequently quoted activist figures around. Adapting her writing and sayings for a TV show would be a screenwriter’s dream and challenge.
Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug
What would a comedy about ’60s feminism be without the pugnacious, brave elder stateswomen who vacillated between occasionally fractious disagreement with more radical voices in the movement and going all-in for change? These women were pioneers, if imperfect in their views. And since intergenerational conflict is a staple of sitcoms: bring it on!