Sunday, May 15, 2016

Glorious Steinem

Gloria Steinem at the Aotea Centre in Auckland last night was extraordinary. She made me feel proud to be a feminist again. Sometimes feminists are made to feel less than heroic (believe me).

Steinem knows how it is and is not afraid to tell it true. You'd never believe she is 82, except by how much she knows.

Questions from the audience covered everything from does 'liberal' or 'cultural' feminism (white feminism) have anything to say to Muslim women, to abortion hypocrisies and the value of stay-at-home mums. Steinem had an intelligent and nuanced response to each of them.

Steinem is the first to say things, you don't hear cliché or jargon from her. She coined the term 'reproductive freedom' and suggested people should have rights to such a freedom.

She dedicated her latest book to her abortionist.

She doesn't accept that in not having children she sacrificed motherhood to the cause. She says she has not one ounce of regret about the life she has led, and when she says it, you believe her. Who wouldn't want Gloria Steinem's life? Most women would -- particularly if it included her face and legs.

So go glorious Gloria, the original second-waver. If women ever do achieve reproductive freedom around the world, it will be very much thanks to you.

** The link 'Gloria Steinem' in the first line of this post takes you to an interview with present-day Gloria. Check it out.

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