Jacqueline Ceballos

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Jacqueline Michot Ceballos
Born (1925-09-08)September 8, 1925
Mamou, Louisiana
Education Southwestern Louisiana Institute
Occupation activist, political organizer
Known for Founding the Veteran Feminists of America
Representative of National Organization for Women
Title President of Veteran Feminists of America
Spouse(s) Alvaro Ceballos (m. 1951)
Children 4
Website
http://www.vfa.us

Jacqueline "Jacqui" Michot Ceballos (born September 8, 1925) is an American feminist and activist. Ceballos is the former president of New York Chapter of the National Organization for Women and founder of the Veteran Feminists of America organization which documents the history of Second wave feminism and pioneer feminists.[1][2] Ceballos' 1971 debate on sexual politics with Norman Mailer and Germaine Greer is recorded in the 1979 documentary Town Bloody Hall.[2]

Early life[edit]

Ceballos was born Jacqueline Michot in Mamou, Louisiana on September 8, 1925. The daughter of Louis Michot and Adele Domas, Ceballos was the middle child of seven children. She attended public school in Lafayette and studied music at Southwestern Louisiana Institute. After majoring in voice, Ceballos moved to New York City to pursue a career in opera.[1]

In 1951 Ceballos married Colombian businessman Alvaro Ceballos with whom she had four children. After the family moved to Bogota, Colombia in 1958, Ceballos founded the city's first opera company, El Teatro Experimental de la Opera. During the break-up of her marriage, Ceballos was given Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique to read, which she later said inspired her toward activism in the feminist movement.[1] Her husband helped her open an export-import clothing business in New York which provided her the means to separate from him and return to the United States.[3]

Activism[edit]

In 1967 Ceballos permanently moved with her four children to New York City where she joined the National Organization for Women (NOW). During the following years she was an activist, organized demonstrations, and became a board member of the New York chapter of NOW.

In 1971, Ceballos served as president of New York NOW. She appeared in the April 30, 1971 town hall debate titled A Dialogue on Women's Liberation with Norman Mailer, Germaine Greer, Diana Trilling, Jacqueline Ceballos, Jill Johnston.[4] The debate was recorded and released as D. A. Pennebaker's 1979 documentary film Town Bloody Hall.[5] During the debate, Ceballos made a case that women had the right and duty "to have a voice in changing the world that is changing them."[5] Angry about the image of women in media, Ceballos described the advertiser's portrayal as "She gets an orgasm when she gets the shiny floor!"[2]

Ceballos became the NOW's Eastern Regional Director in 1971 and served as its representative to the 1972 Democratic National Convention. Ceballos cofounded the Women's Forum in 1974 and was the organization's first Executive Director. She later served as NOW's representative at the United Nations International Women's Conference. Along with dozens of other prominent feminists, Ceballos also helped found the National Women's Political Caucus.[1]

Veteran Feminists of America[edit]

In 1975 Ceballos retired from public activism to start a business. Ceballos opened a public relations firm to promote feminist education courses and she began the New Feminist Talent speaker's bureau. After the rise of anti-feminism during the 1980s, Ceballos with Dorothy Senerchia, Barbara Seaman and other feminist pioneers founded the Veteran Feminists of America (VFA).[6] The founding principle of the organization was to preserve the history of Second Wave feminism as well as to honor the women and men who pioneered the movement.[1][7]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2012, Ceballos lived in Phoenix, Arizona where her daughter, Michele, a dancer, had founded the non-profit dance and education group OpendanceAZ.[8] Her husband, Alvaro, died from Alzheimers at the age of 92 in Cucuta, Colombia.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Love, Barbara J., Feminists who changed America, 1963-1975, University of Illinois Press, 2006, p78, ISBN 0-252-03189-X
  2. ^ a b c Mead, Rebecca, "Changes", The New Yorker, May 3, 2004
  3. ^ "Jacqui Ceballos, VFA President, Founder". Autobiography. www.vfa.us. Retrieved 2012-06-15. 
  4. ^ Wallace, Christine, Germaine Greer: Untamed Shrew, Metro Publishing (December 2001), p190
  5. ^ a b Jerry Tallmer, "A bloody township in the war of the sexes, caught on film", The Villager, Volume 77, Number 4 | June 27 - July 3, 2007
  6. ^ Rebecca Mead, Changes, The New Yorker, The Movement, May 3, 2004
  7. ^ "Veteran Feminists of America records, 1972-2008", Manuscript and Special Collections Library, Duke University
  8. ^ "Michele Ceballos Michot". Founding Director. opendance.org. Retrieved 2012-06-15.