Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Remembering Janet Schulman

You may, like I did, guess that Janet Schulman was a kindly, soft-spoken, perhaps grandmotherly women who loved children's books enough to compile the treasury we are currently using in our class. If you assume this, as I did, you would be wrong. She certainly had a passion for the children's literature industry, but she had so much more than that. Schulman was a spunky, candid, no-nonsense children's book editor who interrogated gender norms and was once fired for "having the audacity" to question why a female executive made less than a male secretary. Schulman, who recently passed away, will be remembered  by colleagues, friends, and family for her uniqueness, her frankness, and for inspiring those around her not to settle for mediocrity. The article is well worth a read, but to get the gist of her spunkiness, here's what one colleague says about her:

She was at a business gathering there when “X,” a high-ranking (male) executive, said to her, “Tell me, Janet, when are you going to stop dressing like a man?” To which she replied, “As soon as they start paying me like one.”

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