From Making PR Macho
to Making PR Feminist
The Battle Over Values
in a Female-Dominated Field
Pamela J. Creedon
The profession of counsel on public relations is so new that all who are engaged in it, men as well as women, are pioneers. No traditions have grown against women's participation in it, and women will share the responsibility of shaping this new profession. It is so new that its ultimate possibilities for women lie in the future.
—Fleischman (1928, p. 385)
As legend has it, it all started with Lady Godiva back in the first millennium (1040–1080). To get her husband's attention about oppressive taxes, she rode nude on horseback through Coventry, England. Her desperate attempt to get the good Earl Godiva's attention so that he would lower the taxes on his people was described simply as publicity stunt in one public relations text (Wilcox, Ault, & Agee, 1989).
The finding about Lady Godiva as the first woman mentioned in public relations textbooks was published in Journalism Educator in 1989, along with the opening quote from Fleischman (1928; Creedon, 1989). By the 1980s, Fleischman was mentioned in the textbooks as the wife of Edward Bernays, often called the father of modern public relations.
Thanks to Henry's (1997) scholarship, later editions give Fleischman credit for her own pioneering work in public relations. Fleischman, for ex-