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Historian Stephanie Coontz to Speak at CWU April 17

Author, speaker, and historian, Stephanie Coontz will present "50 Years of Gender Change: Where Do We Stand?" at 7 p.m., April 17, in the SURC Theatre. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Coontz teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and is the director of Research and Public Education for the Council on Contemporary Families.

Fifty years ago, Betty Friedan published her international bestseller, The Feminine Mystique, which challenged the prevailing belief that a woman was happiest only when she was emotionally and economically dependent. Coontz’s talk looks back to the days of Mad Men and real-life desperate housewives, then traces what has and has not changed since that time in women's roles and male-female relationships.

She has appeared on Oprah Winfrey, The Colbert Report, the Today Show, PBS News Hour with Ray Suarez, Crossfire, 20/20, and MSNBC with Brian Williams, as well as in several prime-time television documentaries, including ones hosted by Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters.

Coontz is the author of A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s (Basic Books, 2011) and the award-winning Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage (Viking Press, 2005). She also wrote The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap (1992 and 2000, Basic Books), The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America's Changing Families (Basic Books, 1997), and The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families. Her writings have been translated into French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Czech, German, Norwegian, Turkish, Greek, Chinese, Ukrainian, and Japanese. For more information about Stephanie Coontz, go to

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,
April 15, 2013

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