The Boston Globe is pretty excited that Gloria Steinem is going to deliver a talk called “The F Word: Feminism Today” at Simmons College on Friday. She also spoke at Simmons Commencement in 1973. (Simmons, by the way, is an awesome institution and operates the only MBA program designed exclusively for women).
Can you blame the Globe for being so excited Ms. Steinem will be visiting their fair city? She is of course the feminist leader, author, and icon, whose contributions and accomplishments are too great to list.
She had this to say about the women’s movement in 2013:
“Here’s a skeleton key to what has to change,” she said on the phone from New York. “Women still require an adjective and males don’t. There is a ‘novelist’ and a ‘woman novelist,’ [as there is a] ‘doctor’ and a ‘black doctor.’ ” This sentiment is, of course, the inspiration for our blog’s tongue-in-cheek name.
She also drops all kind of other wisdom, including these excerpts:
On domestic responsibilities not just affecting mothers with small children:
“More people take time off because of having to take care of elderly parents than caring for children. This is a much larger issue. What is most destructive is to discuss this as if it was a woman’s problem.”
On Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, who eliminated working from home and described herself as “not a feminist”:
“In that [2012 PBS Makers Series] documentary [Mayer] says she is not a feminist,” Steinem said. “When I saw it, I didn’t know if she meant she’s really not a feminist, or she misunderstood what a feminist was, or she was fearful of criticism. I don’t know people’s inner processes. But once she canceled the working-at-home policy, I thought, she really isn’t a feminist. I’m not saying she doesn’t have a reason [to end telecommuting]. She was trying to create a better sense of community. But you do have to give people a choice. It is not true that all women identify with other women. We’re not talking about biological determinism here — it’s a state of mind.”
“Even Hillary Clinton had to lose [the 2008 U.S. Presidential Race] to be liked. I’m oversimplifying, but it’s unfair that men have to succeed to be loved, and it’s equally unfair that women have to fail to be loved.’’
On Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In:
“I would say the most radical thing in [Sandberg’s] book, and perhaps in the long run the most important, is that she suggests that fathers can equally raise children and can be equal at home. I have not seen that in the coverage of her book. Maybe I’ve missed it. She also says the most important career choice you will make if you want to have children is who your partner is. I don’t see that discussed either.”