Even Amelia Earhart had to tell The New York Times to call her by her own name.

The New York Times just dug into its copious archives, turning up an unpublished letter from Amelia Earhart, calling out the paper for some vintage sexist headlines.

Don't mess. Photo via Hulton Archive.

After her marriage in 1931, the Times began referring to Earhart, jarringly, as "Mrs. Putnam" after her husband, George Palmer Putnam.


"Mrs. Putnam Flies Atlantic in Record Time; Do-X reaches the Azores," read a May 22, 1932, headline.

"Harrison and Rye hail Mrs. Putnam's return," blared one from June of that same year.

That didn't sit right with the legendary aviator, who criticized the paper in a (private) note to the publisher.

"Dear Mr. Sulzberger," Earhart began.

"May I make a request of the Times through you? Despite the mild expression of my wishes, and those of G.P.P. [husband George Palmer Putnam,] I am constantly referred to as "Mrs. Putnam" when the times mentions me in its columns.

I admit that I have no principle to uphold in asking that I be called by my professional name in print. However, it is for many reasons more convenient for both of us to be simply "Amelia Earhart." After all (here may be a principle) I believe flyers should be permitted the same privileges as writers or actresses.

I have written Mrs. Sulzberger to thank her for sending me the lovely orchids, and here are my thanks to you. It was pleasant, indeed, to be so remembered.

Sincerely yours,
Amelia Earhart"






The Times has more of the correspondence, which you should check out immediately.

Long story short: The paper got the message and started referring to Earhart by her given name the following month.

Don't mess with Amelia Earhart.

This maddeningly sexist BS still happens today.

George Clooney and a being sculpted from George Clooney's rib? Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

In June, a controversy erupted over a (hilariously) self-refuting New York Post headline about artist Kate Miller (née Gorney), which referred to her only as actor "T.J. Miller's wife."

In response, Miller wrote a scathing essay for Refinery 29 titled simply "Please Stop Calling Me 'T.J. Miller's Wife.'"

"I love being married to T.J. and I love being Kate Miller (and loved being Kate Gorney before that). I also love being RosePetalPistol the artist, an independently successful woman. Our marriage is a true partnership, one where neither of us is claimed as the other's at the expense of themselves. I challenge the conception that I am simply 'T.J. Miller's wife,' just as I challenge society to stop diminishing any woman to a singular, archaic, and sexist definition."

George Clooney's wife Amal Clooney is frequently referred to similarly in headlines, despite her high-profile career as a human rights lawyer.

Women continue to be people in 2017, just as they were in 1932.

Many even have hopes, dreams, and, perhaps most critically, professional accomplishments independent of their spouses and regardless of their decision to change their last name.

It took some doing, but eventually The New York Times got it right back then.

If they can, then, dammit, so can the rest of us.

Photo by Davis/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Keep laughing, Ms. Earhart.

More

Los Angeles is experiencing a homeless epidemic that was years in the making.

Over the past six years, the unhoused population in the city has risen 75 percent. The city's lack of homeless shelters and affordable housing has forced many who can't afford L.A.'s sky-high rents to live on the streets.

According to LAist, since 2000, renter incomes have decreased by 3 percent while rents have gone up 32 percent.

While the city has launched a $100 million-per-year program to help the problem, rapper, entrepreneur, and actor Jaden Smith has found his own way of responding to the crisis: love.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities

Mom and blogger Mary Katherine Backstrom regularly shares snippets of life with her two children on her Facebook page. One particularly touching interaction with her daughter is melting hearts and blowing minds due to the three-year-old's wise words about forgiveness.

Even adults struggle with the concept of forgiveness. Entire books have been written about how and why to forgive those who have wronged us, but many still have a hard time getting it. Who would guess that a preschooler could encapsulate what forgiveness means in a handful of innocent words?

Keep Reading Show less
Family


Social media may be "ruining society" according to a lot of people's grandparents. But it's also a pretty helpful tool for spotting racists and publicly shaming them. Incidentally, a lot of those racists are also people's grandparents... kinda makes you think, hmmm?

Recently, two elderly white ladies were spotted in a Burger King in Central Florida being racist towards a man who they overheard speaking Spanish. That man turned out to be the manager.

Some nearby customers were filming the incident and posted the video online where it's gone viral. "Go back to Mexico," says one of the women. "If you want to keep speaking Spanish, go back to your Mexican country." She then continues: "this is America. Our main language is English. ... Speak your Mexican at home."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

The U.S. women's soccer team won the Women's World Cup, but the victory is marred by the fact that the team is currently fighting for equal pay. In soccer, the game is won by scoring points, but the fight for equal pay isn't as clearly winnable and the playing field isn't as even.

We live in a world where winning the World Cup is easier than winning equal pay, but co-captain Megan Rapinoe says there's one easy way fans can support the team: Go see games.

Some people argue the men's team deserves to get paid more because they are more successful and earn more money for the United States Soccer Federation. Pay depends on merchandise and ticket sales, and in general, men's sporting events tend to draw a bigger crowd than women's sporting events. It's not about sex, many argue; it's about the fact that people just prefer to see men play.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture