Welcome to ‘Feminism’, the new series of ‘Dior Talks’ podcasts, hosted by Justine Picardie. ‘Dior Talks’ creates fascinating spaces for expression, exploring the imaginations and discourses of the artists and thinkers who influence Maria Grazia Chiuri. ‘Feminism’ engages in dialogue with the women who have inspired the Creative Director of Women’s collections and taken part in bold, empowering collaborations with the House. An exceptional roster of guests shares the magic of their thinking and the key moments of their careers with biographer and journalist Justine Picardie.
In this second episode, Picardie talks to Robin Morgan, a hugely influential feminist theorist and much-published writer and journalist. Morgan has been a key figure in the women’s movement, both in the USA and internationally, since the early 1960s, and was also an early participant in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements of the time. She is widely considered a crucial figure in the development of modern feminism and has been forming international networks of like-minded campaigners throughout her adult life.
Robin Morgan was born in Florida in 1941, to a single woman who had come south to avoid the censure surrounding unmarried motherhood. She spent her early years as a child model and actor, appearing regularly in TV shows. However, her desire to write led her away from her mother’s ambitions for her acting career and towards a degree at Columbia University. She worked as a secretary for a literary agent after college and married poet Kenneth Pitchford in 1962, with whom she had a son, the musician Blake Morgan.
At this time, Morgan became active in various leftwing movements, writing for radical publications such as ‘Liberation’ and ‘The National Guardian’. She joined the Civil Rights Movement and in 1967 co-founded the New York Radical Women group. In 1970, she published her first anthology of theoretical texts, ‘Sisterhood is Powerful’. Concurrently publishing volumes of poetry and works of fiction, she received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1979 and has, to date, published 21 books of feminist theory, poetry and fiction and, including several years as editor-in-chief of Ms., has written for multiple newspapers and magazines in the USA and internationally. In 1984, she founded the Sisterhood is Global Institute with Simone de Beauvoir, and in 2005 co-founded the Women’s Media Center.
In this second episode of ‘Feminism’, Justine Picardie and Robin Morgan get right to the heart of the major concerns and challenges which have faced and continue to face feminist struggles internationally. Morgan reflects on the surprises and insights of having lived eight decades and recalls the injustices which women faced in their daily lives when she was young. They discuss the transition to post-feminism and the different approaches to women’s causes around the world. Morgan considers the ever-evolving relationship between feminism and the cultural left, and also the perennial hostility from the right. They also talk about Morgan and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s mutual admiration and budding friendship, and the unlikely but magical interaction of fashion and radical feminism which occurred when Chiuri chose to honor Morgan’s remarkable career at a special ceremony in February 2019 in Paris. Morgan has been a long-standing inspiration for the Creative Director of Women’s collections.