Katherine Spillar ’75 Fights for Feminism

Activist helps lead the charge for gender equality.

This article by Lisa Martin is in the current issue of TCU Magazine.

Feminism is enjoying a moment. Katherine “Kathy” Spillar ’75 could say the same.

As executive editor of Ms. magazine and executive director of the Feminist Majority Foundation, Spillar has spent her entire career advocating for equality.

“One of the very moving and crucial truths about Kathy is that she has consistently been there,” said Gloria Steinem, feminist activist and co-founder of Ms. magazine. “For her, this isn’t a decade of work. This is a lifetime, and it is crucial to our movement to have that kind of consistency and knowledge over time. That also puts Kathy in a unique position to show younger women that this can be a lifetime commitment.”

Photo of Katherine Spillar

As the Women and Genders Studies Green Honors Chair in Fall 2017, Katherine Spillar ’75 met with faculty. (Photo by Leo Wesson)

Ms. magazine publisher Eleanor Smeal, who has worked shoulder to shoulder with Spillar since the 1980s, appreciates her colleague’s perseverance, particularly when faced with obstacles or setbacks. “Whether it’s been a good year for our cause or a bad year, she is optimistic that we will one day see women’s equality,” Smeal said. “Certainly no one has worked more tirelessly than Kathy to get us there.”

“Kathy has been a real leader in this movement, and she is also the optimist in our group,” added Smeal, who also is president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, which she and Spillar helped found in 1987.

For more than four decades, Spillar has sought to educate and engage people on an array of issues relating to gender and equality. “There is still so much work that we need to do,” she said. “We are moving forward, but we never move forward in a straight line. We cannot for a moment stop fighting.”

Read more in TCU Magazine.