Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem

Today is Gloria Steinem’s 82nd birthday. Which seems a good day to discuss that loaded word so rightly associated with her—feminist.
NY1, the TV station, recently explored the meaning of the controversial term at the home of Letty Cottin Pogrebin, tireless advocate for women’s rights and co-founder—with Gloria, Patricia Carbine, Mary Thom,  Joanne Edgar, Nina Finkelstein, and Mary Peacock—of Ms. magazine. Reporter Michael Scotto asked three generations of women—Letty’s teenage granddaughters, her daughter Robin, and Letty herself—what feminism signifies to them.
Alas, even the granddaughter of a proud and active feminist acknowledged that for young people, the term has become sullied: “I think the word is used in a more negative way, so I don’t really like to associate my feelings with feminism,” said Maya Klaris.
Her mother, Robin Pogrebin,  “grew up with it, I took it for granted,” she said. “I was always happy to embrace it and own it.”
But the correct definition of the word came (of course) from Letty herself: “I always define feminism as ‘a belief in the legal, economic, and social equality of the sexes.’ That’s straight out of Webster.”

It is. And that equality is what the women’s rights movement has sought to achieve since the time of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Simply that.
Again, Gloria, happy birthday!
See the video in which the three generations discuss feminism, the presidential race, and the barriers women still face
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  • Barbara Wade March 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I understand feminism better today as a nearly 69- year- old woman. I am so thankful for people such as, Gloria Steinem.
    Happy Birthday, Gloria. Thank you fo all of the work you did and still do.

    I loved you definition of feminism. In the 60s I married young and came from a family where women were so disrespected. Then I married someone just like my own father. I did not see at the time.

    WE are still fighting this battle today in the USA. It is becoming very apparent with the present election.

    I look forward to your emails. I believe women can change the world today. We have to keep our heads and hearts centered and remember who we are and the gift we are to this planet.