Feminism | St. Louis Public Radio

Feminism

Willow Rosen, (left) and Sarah Michelson are opening a midwifery clinic and feminist sex shop at 3350 Ohio Ave. in St. Louis.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Right now, the storefront just off of Cherokee Street is still a construction site. A pile of plaster has been recently chipped away to expose a historic brick wall. A family of squirrels lives in the air conditioning wall unit.  

But Sarah Michelson and Willow Rosen have big plans. The space will house a midwifery center, community space for parenting classes, and “Box,” a feminist sex toy shop.

A turret lathe operator machines parts for transport planes at the Consolidated Aircraft Corp. plant, Fort Worth, Texas, in October 1942.
Library of Congress

Iconic Rosie the Riveter got a lot of attention during, and after, World War II, but women have always worked.

Before the war, women made up approximately 25 percent of the manufacturing workforce, said Alice Kessler-Harris, an American history professor at Columbia University. Except for the poorest, women often left the workforce when they got married or had children. That’s what the war changed.