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Catwoman vs. the White House

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 28, 2022

In 1968, singer, actress, and activist Eartha Kitt was invited to a “Women Doers” luncheon at the White House by Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady. Kitt’s focus on actual problems and solutions didn’t jibe well with the self-congratulatory platitudes of a DC working luncheon. First she pointedly questioned a caught-off-guard President Johnson about childcare for working parents after he stopped by to gladhand a little bit. Then, after remarks from several other women in the room, Kitt rose and spoke out against the war in Vietnam:

The children of America are not rebelling for no reason. They are not hippies for no reason at all. We don’t have what we have on Sunset Blvd. for no reason. They are rebelling against something. There are so many things burning the people of this country, particularly mothers. They feel they are going to raise sons — and I know what it’s like, and you have children of your own, Mrs. Johnson — we raise children and send them to war.

After the luncheon, Kitt’s career in the United States took a turn for the worse.