The Bourgeois Mothers’ Underground!


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January 25, 1962, Vol. VII, No. 14

The Bourgeois Mothers’ Underground

Beatniks and bar flies are the complete population of Greenwich Village in the popular image. No one writes and no one reads about the solid citizens who raise children, belong to the P.T.A., and live in clean, comfortable middle-class apartments. Mrs. Mary Gandall, who very simply describes herself as “middle-aged” and her background as “Irish-English lower-middle-class West Philadelphian,” might still be the unsung respectable Villager if she had not joined “the bourgeois mothers’ underground.”

Last Week Mrs. Gandall and some 75 other Village women helped fill 20 railroad cars of New York area women. These women invaded Washington armed with balloons, posters, and the strength of their own feelings to tell President John F. Kennedy of their concern about a potential nuclear war…

How had this modest Village housewife become involved in the peace movement? It appeared that she had never had any serious political interests before. As she thought back, she said: “Oh, I remember once when I was in advertising, I belonged to something called ‘Men and Women in Advertising for Roosevelt.'”

…By now she has become a committed peacenik: she is a board member of the Greenwich Village Peace Center and heads there what is called (in terminology borrowed from its original sponsors, the American Friends Service Committee) the “Women’s Committee of Concern.” The next project she and her committee of concern are taking up is how to support the ADA-Sane-Mark Lane march on Albany on February 12 to call for repeal of the State fallout-shelter bill…

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 23, 2009


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