A considerable portion of America’s female population began to witness the uprising of Feminism for the second time in the nation’s history and took a more active role in the education of others about the principles of equality between the sexes. Maggie May, a student writer for the Gateway Newspaper of the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), was one of those women and for me, the search was on to find her—the writer of a series of articles focused on conveying the concepts of Feminism entitled “Womankind.” Les Valentine, archivist for UNO, was the first person I met with to find Maggie. He pulled several issues of the Gateway in the archive offices, along with UNO yearbooks from 1970 to 1973. While referring to the picture Maggie included of herself at the top of every article written, I searched, but found nothing. Valentine was just as confused as I and suggested I go to the Gateway offices at the student center and discuss my dilemma with someone there. At the Gateway, I was given the phone number of Rosalie Maiches, who ran the newspaper in the 1970s and, upon calling her, was very eager to meet with me. Our short and informal interview occurred on September 21, 2010, in which I discussed with her my search for Maggie May.
Maiches confirmed that Maggie May’s name was in fact a penname, and that she “used it because she may have not wanted to be recognized on campus.” Unfortunately, she had no recollection of Maggie May, the woman in the photo which accompanied each article, or even the articles themselves. She did, however, give me three people to call, who would have worked on the Gateway in 1972 as well. I phoned everyone—Todd and Geri Simon who were editors at the time Maggie’s articles were published, John Malone, Larry King, and even Jacqueline St. John, who worked in the Women’s Studies department in 1972. Every single lead came up short, and not one person could recollect Maggie May or her “Womankind” column.
I felt utterly lost. I could not understand why it was so difficult to find a single woman, until I realized that maybe Rosalie Maiches was right—maybe Maggie wanted to stay anonymous. However, the column still remains in plain sight and in public domain. I then realized that Maggie May was not concerned those thirty years ago with letting readers know who she was, but what she was saying. Maggie had become the voice of all women at UNO, whether they shared her views or not; by keeping her anonymity, she was speaking on behalf of womankind
The reality of social issues in the United States is sometimes difficult to grasp unless it hits home—literally. When an issue, such as Second Wave Feminism, seems to be another fad in American culture, it is not always seen as significant unless it is part of one’s daily life. This is why January 21, 1972 saw the first of Maggie May’s columns entitled “Womankind” in UNO’s Gateway Newspaper. In it, May introduces readers to the Women’s Liberation Movement with the intention of informing UNO about the issues of nation-wide feminists. She explains that her discussions will include the problems of women from a woman involved in the movement. The concept of men versus women is the oldest form of oppression, and the common societal characteristics of women are that they are weak, dainty, irrational, and emotional, and generally incompetent. Plus,