Elaine’s short story highlights the life of Sonoma County resident Barbara “Dusty” Roads and how she became known as the one who ignited the Second Wave of the Women’s Liberation Movement. As an American Airlines stewardess and airline industry union negotiator and legislative lobbyist to Congress, Dusty fought regulations prohibiting marriage and requiring the firing of stewardesses at age thirty-two. It was a 15-year struggle during which Dusty and her colleague, Jean Montague, became the first in the United States to file a sexual discrimination complaint with the EEOC after Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Although the marriage ban and age policy were succelssfully challenged in the courts, it wouldn’t be until Dusty intervened politically to avert a potential strike over continued contract disputes on those rules. that American Airliknes was forced to overturn them.
“History in Our Midst.” A short story in SONOMA: Stories of a Region and its People. Redwood Writers 2017 Anthology.