Published in the Spring 2006 issue • Features
An Interview with Doris Anderson
Trailblazing feminist Doris Anderson was an influential editor of Chatelaine magazine from 1957 to 1977, head of the Advisory Council on the Status of Women in the early 1980s and is now on the steering committee of Equal Voice, a non-partisan Canadian organization working to change our electoral system.
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Throughout your life, what kept you going?
I learned that you never can tell when you’ll get a break.
What was the last book you read?
It was a book on Florence Nightingale. She was an extraordinary woman who fought convention every step of the way.
If you could meet one woman, dead or alive, who would it be?
Golda Mier? No. Nelly McClung or Agnes Macphail (early Canadian feminists). I would like to talk to them and find out what got them going, what barriers they had and what they think of Canadian women now. How did we do?
What would you say to young women who want to follow in your footsteps?
Well, I can tell them about a bunch of mistakes that I made but that would take too long. The main thing is to not undersell yourself. Don’t settle for less than what you can achieve or less than what women should be achieving.
What does it mean to you to be shameless?
My first thought is someone who takes all their clothes off!! I came from a generation where we always had to pull our hem down to cover up. So, I guess that’s it: to not cover up who you are.