NEW YORK -- A pediatric surgeon, a newspaper publisher and a woman whose son was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan are among 13 'Ms. Magazine' Women of the Year 1987.
They all are women of courage, Editor Gloria Steinem noted in an interview when names of the honored were announced. 'I hope that people reading the brief stories of these 13 women will find encouragement for themselves.'
Sarah Rosen, of South Bend, Ind., 10, is both the youngest and the smallest (4-foot-9) ever award winner. She made the list for courage as she tried to get girls parts in a Constitutional Convention re-enactment at her school.
The mission was not accomplished; Meussel Elementary School powers insisted on sticking with historical truth in the pageant marking the 200th anniversary of the Constitution. No females.
But Rosen and her pint-sized boat-rockers staged a rally and sang 'We Shall Overcome' and 'The Star Spangled Banner.' They called attention to the cause -- women as equals.
'It's a real honor,' Rosen said, in New York this week when Steinem, festooned her with a ribbon dangling the 'Ms.' Woman of the Year medal.
To get on the 1987 'Ms.' list, females had to 'set new standards of excellence and display extraordinary courage in their work and their lives over the past year, Steinem said.
The magazine started the annual list in 1983 as a response to Time magazine's 'Man of the Year' issue.
The 1987 award winners included:
-Soviet 'refusnik' Ida Nudel, Tel Aviv, Israel, and Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland share the Ms. Magazine Simone de Beauvoir International Woman of the Year Award, named for the pioneering French feminist Simone de Beauvoir who died in 1986. Nudel, the citation said, during a 16-year pursuit of an exit visa, 'acted as guardian angel' of other dissidents.' Brundtland was 'the first world leader elected on the basis of her feminist stands.'
-Canadian Leone Pippard, Quebec, cited for her 'courageous and dedicated work to save the Beluga whale in the St. Lawrence Seaway.'
-Tennis Star Martina Navratilova, Fort Worth, Texas, 'whose remarkable skill and dedication to supporting female athletes makes her a true champion on and off the court.'
-Actress, comedian, singer Bette Midler, Los Angeles, Calif., 'has become a major star ... without sacrificing one whit of her smarts, originality, bawdiness, or power to the conventions of Hollywood and mass media,' Steinem reports.
-Author Toni Morrison, New York, with five novels to her credit, including her most recent, 'Beloved.'
-Sara Paretsky, Chicago, who recently helped start Sisters in Crime, a women's caucus in the Mystery Writers of America.
-Cathleen Black, Washington, D.C., publisher of 'USA TODAY,' for her key role in the success of the 5-year-old daily.
-Beulah Mae Donald, Mobile, Ala., whose son was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan, brought a lawsuit against them in which she was awarded $7 million.
-Diane Joyce, Morgan Hill, Calif., who won a landmark decision in the first Supreme Court ruling on sex-based affirmative action.
-Wilma Mankiller, Tahlequah, Okla., first woman elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
-Patricia Donahoe, Boston, pediatric surgeon whose ground-breaking research into female reproductive cancer led to the manufacture of a hormone called MIS that has been shown to repress tumors of reproductive organs in mice.
Awards aside, Steinem was asked how feminist causes did in 1987. She also was asked is if the contemporary Women's Liberation movement started by Betty Friedan some 20 years ago is dead.
'Feminist causes advanced in general various categories,' she said. 'There were favorable Supreme Court decisions and barriers fell. But Washington still is a problem because this (President Reagan's) administration is opposed.
'The women's liberation movment hasn't stopped. I think we are into 20 years of a continuing century of change. We have named the problems and we're just beginning institiutional change.'
Is Steinem still a feminist or has she mellowed over the decades?
'I am a feminist,' she said.
'The alternative would be to be a masochist.'