Jonathan Eig is the New York Times best-selling author of four books: Luckiest Man, Opening Day, Get Capone, and, most recently, The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution. He is currently working on a biography of Muhammad Ali.
From a Q & A with the author:
How far do you feel we’ve come as a society towards equality in general, including sexual equality, since the days of the invention of the pill?Learn more about the book and author at Jonathan Eig's website.
We’ve come a long way. It’s tempting to think primarily about how the pill changed sex, how it made for swinging singles and wild orgies. It did, certainly, allow women (and men) to enjoy sex without the constant fear of pregnancy. But it did much more than that. It allowed them to control the size of their families, which meant they could better maintain their health, stay out of poverty, and feed their children. It meant they could go to college and start careers. Women are still not treated as fully equal to men, but they’re much better off than they were 60 years ago, and a big part of that change can be connected to the advent of the pill.
Through writing this book, how have your views towards the pill changed? What do you think it has added to society, or the way men and women interact with each other?
I was one of those people who took the pill for granted. It had always been there for me. I had never given much thought to how it might have changed the life of my mother or my wife or any of the other women I knew.
Telling this story—and traveling back in time to the 1950s in doing so, to see what women’s lives were like prior to the arrival of the pill—has made me...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: The Birth of the Pill.