“At the Miss America protest, people outside had all kind of signs. I liked mine best, ‘Can makeup cover the wounds of our oppression?’ But the best part came when they were about to crown Miss America. Women who’d snuck up into the balcony unfurled this huge banner that said Women’s Liberation, and it was a beautiful moment.”
Carol Giardina was co-founder (with Judith Brown) of Gainesville Women’s Liberation, the first women’s liberation group in the South. Giardina attended the Miss America protest in Atlantic City in 1968, and participated in the two founding conferences of the women’s movement in 1968, Sandy Springs MD and Lake Villa IL. Earlier, from 1963 to 1996, Giardina developed an abortion referral network at the University of Florida, Gainesville, for then illegal abortions. She has been active in the labor movement, the civil rights and black power movements. Giardina has long been a member of Redstockings, and works today with young feminists. She is the author of Freedom for Women: Forging the Women’s Liberation Movement, 1953-1970 (2010) and is a professor of history at Queens College, NY.