Costello emerged as a successful commercial artist in the late 1970s, at the very time when second-wave feminism peaked in its influence. ‘Second-wave’ feminism, typified in the writings in the 1960s of Betty Friedman and Simone de Beauvoir, went beyond broad objective concerns of earlier feminists in relation to matters, such as voting rights and the economic disadvantage in marriage created by patriarchal property rights.