Mary Crawford is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most influential feminist psychologists in history, a first responder, in the uphill battle against “womanless” and anti-feminist psychological practices. She has achieved high accomplishments, as well as endured many hardships, and has fought to secure equality for women and to improve the lives of women all across the globe. Crawford is an accomplished author, her work spanning a diverse range of subjects; in articles, research, and several books. Crawford has received several awards for her accomplishments, which includes the Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology (Korostoliev 2012). Crawford’s accomplishments did not come easily, but with her determination and resolve, she managed to shatter the glass ceiling in an extremely hostile sexist era and rose to the top of history’s most important spokespersons for women’s equality.
Mary Crawford was raised in a traditional white middle-class Catholic family just after the end of WWII in Pennsylvania (Korostoliev 2012/ Crawford, Unger 2001). Her father, an Air Force sergeant, was the head of household (Crawford 2001) and her mother was a traditional home-maker (Korostoliev 2012). As was standard in the time, Crawford was expected to follow in the footsteps of her mother in a traditional family role (Crawford 2001). In her adolescence, Crawford began idolizing many role-models of non-traditional females in powerful and interesting roles outside the home (Crawford 2001). Crawford listened to radio shows, read books like Nancy Drew, and was influenced by female leaders like Golda Meir, the Prime Minister of the newly created Israel (Crawford 2001).
Academia was always a strong point of Crawford’s. She scored the highest SAT score of her class and was admitted to West Chester Teachers’ State College (Crawford 2001). A male student scoring the second best SAT score in her class was admitted to Harvard, however, she describes her disposition as grateful considering she was the first of her family to attend college (Crawford 2001). Although her observations of traditional gender roles and sex-discrimination did not directly influence her decision for her first college degree, we will see a feminist develop shortly after her first college experience.
Mary Crawford married at the young age of 18 (Crawford 2001). Crawford became pregnant and a mother of two during her time at West Chester State College while studying Music Education (Korostoliev 2012). After graduating, Mary found her life as a music teacher rather unfulfilling (Korostoliev 2012). Crawford soon had divorced and found herself facing life on her own, as a single woman, which brought her great struggles (Korostoliev 2012). The difficulties Crawford experienced as a single mother and her intrigue with powerful women, coinciding with the beginning with the second wave women’s movement undoubtedly brought her to a major turning point in her life...