Aviation for Women

SEP-OCT 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

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46 AviationforWomen S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 8 I t's March 1960 and Cessna is offering half- price flying lessons for wives, thus creating a new term: "wife-pilot." This ad, published in Time magazine, offered a booklet for its self-described "Flying Wives Plan" called "Look Who's Flying." But before we tut-tut too much about "Cessna's exciting new idea for wives," let's consider the times. A t t h at t i m e , t h ere were a p prox i m at ely 12,400 female pilots in the United States, so cle a rly women were a n a re a where m a rket growth was possible (as it is now). But back then, women were generally divided into two groups: wives first and foremost and then every- one else—the old maids, the spinsters, the col- lege students looking for their MRS degree, all those labels that put unmarried women in some sort of vague holding pattern until they found a husband. And then a book was published that changed things considerably. Helen Gurley Brown, long- time editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, pub- lished Sex and the Single Girl. The book was published in 1962 and encouraged women to be- come financially independent as well as to enjoy, shall we say, "robust" romantic lives. The book sold 2 million copies in its first three weeks on the market and was available in 35 countries. Until this book, no one had valued the quality of life possible for unmarried women. The following year, Betty Friedan's book, The Feminine Mystique, was published and is wide- ly credited with huge societal changes. In this blockbuster best-seller, Betty challenged the be- lief that fulfillment for women came only by being a wife and mother, thus helping to open the door for women like us to no longer be "wife-pilots" or "female pilots" but just plain "pilots." ✈ C E S S N A A D 1 9 6 0 The 1960s helped to open the door for women like us to no longer be "wife-pilots" or "female pilots" but just plain "pilots." Exciting New Idea for Wives! T H E W A Y W E W E R E

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