Saba Ahmed Jennifer Garner Marlene Trestman
Mercedes  Viana Schlapp Carly Fiorina Jacki Zehner
Linda Chavez Rep. Yvette  Clarke (D-NY) Meryl Streep
Cathy McMorris Rodgers Jennifer Higgins Jill Filipovic
Camille Pagilla Michelle Bachelet Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Jennifer  Marshall Atima Omara Mandy Moore
Dorothy Height Gloria Steinem Francesca  Chambers
Amanda Terkel Neera Tanden Patrice Onwuka

Past Programs

Summaries of To the Contrary's shows from 1996 to present are listed. You can also watch full episodes from 2010 to the present online here.

Click on a year below to see a list of that year's shows.

« Past Programs Main

Year's End--1996

Date: 12/27/1996
Program Number: 540
Panelists: Josette Shiner, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Darlene Kennedy, Eleanor Holmes Norton

Featured Topics:

Topless Nudity: Indecent in Canada?

• Two-year ender

Equal Opportunity

Date: 12/20/1996
Program Number: 539
Panelists: Susan Au Allen, Jan Parshall, Bev Smith, Elaine Shannon

Featured Topics:

• Are holiday toys sexist?

• Same-sex sexual harassment

• Interview with Chris Matthews

Women and Travel

Date: 12/06/1996
Program Number: 537

Featured Topics:

This program is a repeat of program 519, August 2, 1996.

Drinking--A Love Story

Date: 11/29/1996
Program Number: 536
Panelists: Julianne Malveaux, Diane Rehm, Arianna Huffington, Dr. Antonia Novello

Featured Topics:

• STD's and girls' health education

• Proposition 209

• Interview with Carolyn Knapp on her new book about her bout with alcoholism

Corporate Responsibility

Date: 11/22/1996
Program Number: 535
Panelists: Eleanor Holmes Norton, Tillie Fowler, (first segment only), Julia Chang Bloch

Featured Topics:

• Sexual harassment--Congressional women meet Army brass

• Giants hire alleged rapist

• Interview with Helen Mills on corporate responsibility

Equal Opportunity

Date: 11/15/1996
Program Number: 534
Panelists: Cari Dominguez, Irene Natividad, Julianne Malveaux, Victoria Toensing

Featured Topics:

• The ABA and the WNBA

• Estrogen and menopause

• Interview with Robert Reich on women and pensions

The Presidential Elections

Date: 11/08/1996
Program Number: 533
Panelists: Connie Morella, Irene Natividad

Featured Topics:

• Army Sexual Harassment--Aberdeen Proving Grounds

• Clinton and women's vote

• Woman candidates

Women and Corporate Leadership

Date: 11/01/1996
Program Number: 532

Featured Topics:

• Interview with Sheila Wellington of Catalyst

Women in Genesis

Date: 10/25/1996
Program Number: 531
Panelists: Susan Au Allen, Harriett Woods, Victoria Toensing, Irene Natividad

Featured Topics:

• What can politicians do to get the women's vote?

Women in Genesis: Is God a man or a woman?

• Interview with Naomi Rosenblatt

Nurses in Healthcare

Date: 10/18/1996
Program Number: 530
Panelists: Darlene Kennedy, Elaine Shannon, Irene Natividad, Josette Shiner ; Special Guest: Hurdis Griffith

Featured Topics:

• Three female students are suspended for having over- the-counter painkillers at school--are "drug-free school zones" getting out of hand?

• "The Rules"--Women play hard to get to snag men

• The future of nursing

Beyond Motherhood

Date: 10/11/1996
Program Number: 529
Panelists: Julianne Malveaux, Josette Shiner, Harriett Woods, Darlene Kennedy

Featured Topics:

  • Sexual harassment in school
  • UN threatens to withhold aid from new Islamic government in Afghanistan because it places women under virtual house-arrest  
  • Beyond motherhood--interview with Jeanne Safer 

He Works - She Works

Date: 10/04/1996
Program Number: 528
Panelists: Bev Smith, Arianna Huffington, Susan Au Allen, Anita Perez Ferguson

Featured Topics:

  • Women candidates
  • Both parents working--interview with co-authors Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett

Women and Conservation

Date: 09/27/1996
Program Number: 527
Panelists: Arianna Huffington, Karen DeWitt, Elaine Shannon, Darlene Kennedy

Featured Topics:

  • UN is urged to make the sexual exploitation of children an international crime
  • Republicans call this the first serious attempt to curb illegal immigration in years, but some Democrats say they want Clinton to veto the bill
  • Women and conservation--interview with Helen Gichohi and Rosemary Kinyanjui

Summit on Ethics and Meaning

Date: 09/20/1996
Program Number: 526

Featured Topics:

  • One year after the UN Convention on the Rights of Women
  • Female chain gangs--Arizona
  • Politics of Meaning--interview with Michael Lerner and the Washington Summit

Equal Opportunity--Gunderson

Date: 09/13/1996
Program Number: 525

Featured Topics:

  • Iraq--Saddam Hussein ousts certain Curdish factions from his country (women drew Iraq's borders to include the Curds)
  • Baby boomers--drug use then and their children using drugs now
  • Congressman Steve Gunderson--First openly gay Republican, on men, women and sexuality. Interview with Gunderson and partner Rob Morris

Values and Education

Date: 09/06/1996
Program Number: 524
Panelists: Jan Parshall, Irene Natividad, Julianne Malveaux, Darlene Kennedy

Featured Topics:

  • Poll of American men who put family first
  • Home schooling--interview with Julie Wesoleck of Calvert School

Democratic Convention

Date: 08/30/1996
Program Number: 523
Panelists: Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Darlene Kennedy, Jan Parshall, Julianne Malveaux

Featured Topics:

  • Democratic Convention: Succeeding in getting women's votes
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton on family values

Women and Art

Date: 08/23/1996
Program Number: 522
Panelists: Camille Paglia, Julianne Malveaux, Bev Smith, Jan Parshall

Featured Topics:

  • Women's health
  • Women and art by Judy Chicago

Republican Convention

Date: 08/15/1996
Program Number: 521
Panelists: Victoria Toensing, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Darlene Kennedy, Irene Natividad

Featured Topics:

  • The Republican Convention and beyond--united and divided
  • The gender gap--interview with Elizabeth Dole

Gay Marriages

Date: 08/09/1996
Program Number: 520
Panelists: Bev Smith, Camille Paglia, Jan Parshall, Julianne Malveaux

Featured Topics:

  • Abortion and ethics at home and overseas
  • Same sex marriages--Hawaii is the first state to have gay marriages
  • Interview with Torie Osborn

Women and Travel

Date: 08/02/1996
Program Number: 519
Panelists: Irene Natividad, Josette Shiner, Susan Au Allen, Elaine Shannon

Featured Topics:

  • Outraged over garment industry sweatshops in the U.S. and overseas--who's responsible for policing these industries?
  • Women travelers: The number of women traveling alone has skyrocketed

Sheila Frahm

Date: 07/26/1996
Program Number: 518

Featured Topics:

  • Interview with Sheila Frahm--taking Bob Dole's place in Senate

Republican War Against Women

Date: 07/19/1996
Program Number: 517
Panelists: Darlene Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Irene Natividad, Lynn Martin

Featured Topics:

  • The cost of teen pregnancy has skyrocketed
  • Republican war against women
  • Interview with Tanya Melich

Women Olympians

Date: 07/12/1996
Program Number: 516
Panelists: Julianne Malveaux, Arianna Huffington, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Lynn Martin

Featured Topics:

  • World population day--combating the spread of HIV-AIDS
  • Coworkers are most often cited in sexual harassment complaints
  • Women Olympians--gold for women athletes?

Women and the Minimum Wage

Date: 07/05/1996
Program Number: 515
Panelists: Harriett Woods, Cari Dominguez, Irene Natividad, Josette Shiner

Featured Topics:

  • A majority of Americans believe churches should express political opinions
  • Women and the minimum wage

Power Couples

Date: 06/28/1996
Program Number: 514
Panelists: Arianna Huffington, Karen DeWitt, Irene Natividad, Josette Shiner

Featured Topics:

  • New Age Spirituality
  • Supreme Court weighs in at the all male VMI-- admit women or no federal funding
  • Power Couples--interview with Mr. and Mrs. Paris Glendening

Equal Opportunity

Date: 06/21/1996
Program Number: 513
Panelists: Julianne Malveaux, Anita Perez Ferguson, Susan Au Allen, Jan Parshall; Special Guest: Ingrid Newkirk

Featured Topics:

  • Animal rights versus AIDS research
  • Peter Kostmayer, Executive Director of Zero Population Growth: Congress is poised to drastically cut international family planning efforts

Joint Custody

Date: 06/14/1996
Program Number: 512
Panelists: Bev Smith, Elaine Shannon, Jan Parshall, Susan Au Allen

Featured Topics:

  • Arson continues to destroy black churches and threatens fragile race relations in the South
  • Dole attacks valuable conservative ally as he reopens the abortion debate saying he wants a statement on tolerance linked to the GOP's anti-abortion platform
  • Presumptive Joint Custody

UN Habitat Conference

Date: 06/07/1996
Program Number: 511
Panelists: Lynn Martin, Anita Perez Ferguson, Irene Natividad, Susan Au Allen

Featured Topics:

  • Ultra-thin models
  • U.N. Conference on human settlements--Habitat II
  • Planning Ahead--Dianne Dillon-Ridgley

Women Voting for Women

Date: 05/31/1996
Program Number: 510
Panelists: Jan Parshall, Darlene Kennedy, Irene Natividad, Harriett Woods

Featured Topics:

  • Children's movement--Clinton endorsed idea while in New Orleans
  • Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes first woman elected president in a free popular election

Women's Portrayal in History

Date: 05/24/1996
Program Number: 509
Panelists: Irene Natividad, Arianna Huffington, Julianne Malveaux, Camille Paglia

Featured Topics:

  • A study by the Catalyst Institute shows there are two distinct views on why so few women head major corporations
  • Women's Portrayal in History

Equal Opportunity

Date: 05/17/1996
Program Number: 508
Panelists: Eleanor Holmes Norton, Josette Shiner, Julianne Malveaux, Jan Parshall

Featured Topics:

  • Violent crimes have a new young face
  • Affirmative Action
  • Gender/race alienated middle-class back into the political system--interview with Senator Bill Bradley (D-NJ)

Women and Asylum

Date: 05/03/1996
Program Number: 506
Panelists: Josette Shiner, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Darlene Kennedy, Anita Perez Ferguson

Featured Topics:

  • Female genital mutilation--women may be granted asylum in the U.S. to escape it
  • House Speaker Newt Gingrich was traipsing all over the airwaves with a coterie of animals

Having It All--Can We?

Date: 04/26/1996
Program Number: 505
Panelists: Julianne Malveaux, Jan Parshall, Susan Au Allen, Harriett Woods

Featured Topics:

  • Is the Dole campaign dead? William Bennett accuses the campaign of lacking direction and purpose
  • Congresswoman Blanche Lampert Lincoln is leaving Congress and having twins

Equal Opportunity

Date: 04/19/1996
Program Number: 504
Panelists: Arianna Huffington, Karen DeWitt, Elaine Shannon, Irene Natividad

Featured Topics:

  • Madonna announces that she's with child
  • Mitsubishi officials tell workers a sexual harassment suit filed against the company could cost them their jobs
  • Women, Men, and Media: Front page coverage of women is shrinking--interview with Howard K. Smith

Women and Taxes

Date: 04/12/1996
Program Number: 503
Panelists: Lyn Cutler, Lynn Martin, Susan Au Allen, Eleanor Holmes Norton

Featured Topics:

  • Seven-year-old Jessica Dubroff was killed along with her father and flight instructor when her plane crashed in bad weather
  • Working women without college degrees may be the swing voters of the '96 elections
  • Women and Taxes: America races to the April 15th deadline--Taxing Times interview with Debbie Shuford

Life in Cyberspace

Date: 04/05/1996
Program Number: 502
Panelists: Julianne Malveaux, Arianna Huffington, Harriett Woods, Darlene Kennedy

Featured Topics:

  • A nation remembers the triumphs and contributions of Ron Brown--he was renowned for having credibility in both the black and white communities
  • Two white California officers beat a Mexican man and woman--illegal immigrants were part of a high speed chase
  • Cruising while intoxicated on the Internet--cyberspace interview with Sara Fitzgerald

Feminism Revisited

Date: 03/29/1996
Program Number: 501
Panelists: Lynn Martin, Bev Smith, Josette Shiner, Irene Natividad

Featured Topics:

  • Mixed reactions to the first lady's European trip as she visits US troops in Bosnia
  • Modern technology creates a new dilemma for women--mammograms help doctors find tiny breast tumors, but no one's sure what the proper treatment should be
  • Feminism and the family--interview with Elizabeth Fox Genovese

Equal Opportunity

Date: 03/22/1996
Program Number: 452

Featured Topics:

  • The ban on assault weapons is under fire. Fulfilling their promise to the National Rifle Association, GOP House leaders pushed through a vote to repeal the controversial ban. Its future remains uncertain.
  • Senator Bob Dole wraps up his party’s nomination, but Republicans continue to have a problem getting women out to the polls.
  • FINAL THOUGHTS: Whitney Housten compares engagement rings with wife of millionare oilman Marvin Davis. Thoughts that they should compare how much charity they could give rather than how big their rings are.


Date: 03/15/1996
Program Number: 451

Featured Topics:

  • Senator Bob Doyle sews up his party’s nomination with wins across the country. But Republican women continue to sit on the sidelines, with a minority casting primary votes.
  • A new study by the Census Bureau reveals that more and more Americans aren’t walking down the aisle – they’re strolling. In 1994, the typical bride was 24.5 years old, while the groom was almost 27 – the oldest in the bureau’s 100 years of gathering data

Parental Control

Date: 03/08/1996
Program Number: 450
Panelists: Josette Shiner, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Irene Natividad, Darlene Kennedy

Featured Topics:

  • Dole carried off a sweeping victory, and not just with the voters, as opponents Lamar Alexander and Richard Lugar bowed out of the race.
  • A study out this week shows the traditional family is gaining ground: divorce rates have fallen, the number of two-parent households with children has gone up, and the number of births to unmarried women has slowed substantially.
  • FINAL THOUGHTS: Women continue to venture where only men have gone before: now into the realm of cigar smoking.

Women’s Portrayal in History

Date: 03/01/1996
Program Number: 449

Featured Topics:

  • This week Catalyst released a fascinating and revealing survey of men and women in the loftiest ranks of corporate America. The executives offered their opinions on why there are so few women CEOs and senior managers.
  • March is women’s history month. In honor of that, TTC looks at women in history.

Equal Opportunity

Date: 02/23/1996
Program Number: 448
Panelists: Elaine Shannon, Irene Natividad, Josette Shiner, Susan Au Allen

Featured Topics:

  • Fending off charges of extremism, Buchanan is making the rounds as the GOP primary campaign heats up.
  • The proposed California Civil Rights Initiative made it onto November’s ballot/
  • More men are doing housework these days, and more women are reaping the benefits.

Men, Women, & Money: Who Pays

Date: 02/09/1996
Program Number: 446
Panelists: Karen DeWitt, Irene Natividad, Jan Parshall, Elaine Shannon

Featured Topics:

  • Republican candidates jostle for position and votes in the crucial early caucuses.
  • The days may be numbered for the male gynecologist. Over the last fifteen years, women have skyrocketed from thirty percent to sixty percent of all OBGYN residents, and they’re in high demand.
  • As Valentine’s Day approaches, one question a nineties cupid might ask is, should a women pay to take a man on vacation?

Women and the Law

Date: 02/02/1996
Program Number: 447
Panelists: Victoria Toesing, Eleaine Jones, Roberta Cooper Ramo, Susan Au Allen

Featured Topics:

  • We begin with a look at gender bias is an issue that may affect everyone – from judges to defendants – who goes into court.
  • Polls, task forces, studies, reviews there’s been a lot of talk about gender bias. Now, we look at some of the solutions.

The Future of NAACP

Date: 02/02/1996
Program Number: 445
Panelists: Bev Smith. Harriet Woods, Jan Parshall, Adrienne Washington

Equal Opportunity

Date: 01/26/1996
Program Number: 444
Panelists: Julianne Malveaux, Jan Parshall, Elaine Shannon, Susan Au Allen

Featured Topics:

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton went before a grand jury while they investigated her in the Whitewater case.
  • Family values. Virginia restricts housing loans denying aid to unmarried and gay couples.
  • Fat substitute gets the okay while consumer advocates the question of side effects.
  • Equal Opportunity month –conversation with Congressman Bill Orten family values are on top of his agenda.

Election Politics and Polls

Date: 01/19/1996
Program Number: 443
Panelists: Eleanor Norton Holmes, Lynn Martin, Josette Shiner, Irene Natividad

Featured Topics:

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton is touring the country to promote her new book, but she’s finding her steps dogged by continuing questions about her role in the White House Travel Office firings three years ago.
  • The Supreme court heard arguments this week in the now famous VMI case. The 157-year-old Virginia Military Institute still wants to keep women out while taking public funds.
  • As part of the PBS Democracy project, we will bring you regular reports on the upcoming election and how America chooses its leaders.

Women and Religion

Date: 01/12/1996
Program Number: 442
Panelists: Helen Alvare, Karen DeWitt, Anita Perez Ferguson, Arianna Huffington

Featured Topics:

  • President Clinton is coming to the defense of the First Lady. He demised new questions about her role and truthfulness in the Whitewater affair and travel office firings.
  • High school track stars in Florida are going toe-to-toe with the Florida High School Activities Association. The Association disqualified one school’s track victory because of the outfits worn by female runners.
  • Although religion has traditionally been a male stronghold, over the last twenty years the number of women studying theology has exploded from almost none to thirty percent of seminarians nationwide; at Harvard Divinity School women students actually outnumber men.

Women and Money

Date: 01/05/1996
Program Number: 441
Panelists: Harriett Woods, Susan Au Allen, Karen DeWitt, Jan Parshall

Featured Topics:

  • The government shutdown ends after three long weeks. Who are the winners and who are the losers?
  • Author Joline Godfrey thinks it’s never too early to teach women –and girls-how to achieve financial independence.
  • The embattled Energy Department faced another challenge this week as Secretary Hazel O’Leary was asked to defend the cost of trips abroad.

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