Gloria Steinem
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Gloria Steinem, is an outstanding woman, one of the most influential people in changing the world during the 20th Century.    Her courageous leadership played a pivotal role in sparking the feminist revolution of the late 60’s and 70’s.  ThisAmerican feminist, journalist, and social activist became the nationally recognized spokeswoman for the American feminist movement.  She is a national treasure, who has earned the highest accolades and respect.  Steinem was a columnist for New York magazine, and a co-founder of Ms. Magazine. She certainly changed the lives of millions of women and girls.

Gloria Steinem is an original.   I had the privilege of filming her in her apartment when I produced the Women of Wisdom and Power series on PBS. Her husband David Bale had flown back early to let the crew in.  In that hour they were lighting we had the most unforgettable conversation about how he loved her and how they met.  The beauty of his soul, and eloquence of his words were simply profound. Time stood still. I thought how wonderful that they found each other.   I never understood her dictum when I was younger that the “political is personal. And the personal is political”.  We all get that now.

Significant Quotes from the interview It gives me pleasure to share with you.

Self-esteem is not everything, but nothing works without it. I think core self-esteem is marked by a sense of wellbeing, a sense of balance with the universe, oneness with the universe.  It’s not that you feel more important than anybody else, you just don’t feel less important.  You feel in balance.

There is no ideal of beauty.  It does not exist.  It’s all  the creation of an ideal of beauty, just trying to get us to do what society wants us to do. I was in an audience where a 12 year old girl got up and said, ‘you know, I don’t read beauty magazines anymore’.  I said, why not?  She said, ‘they make me feel ugly.’  I thought that just summed it up.  I think it’s somewhat easier to celebrate whoever we are because it’s not about how we look, it’s about what we do. Every time we confront and defeat external authority when it’s unjust, then we gain self-esteem. 

If you’ve really been raised in a feminine way, you may fear success more than failure.  And that you know is a great tragedy because it means that you’re pretty sure that you’re going to get punished for the best in you. You know, for ambition, for getting great grades, for knowing things.

I mean how many women start every sentence with, ‘it’s probably only me, but’.  You know, ‘I’m not sure’ … and they know very well what they think.  But they’re prefacing it in this way to try to make it okay because it’s not acceptable to be assertive, successful, strong.  It’s not feminine.

What I would hope all women could do, which is to do that which gives her joy.  I think that that is an indicator at least of following your own dream.   Your own unique self.

I’m not sure that we have even a clue as to how much has been done to our spirits by growing up feeling and being told that God looks like somebody else, not like us.  So there’s a hunger for it.  There’s a thirst for it now.

We’ve got this culture in which half the human race has been sort of told that they’re inferior to the other half of the human race, so where they come together most intimately, and sex becomes an area of domination and violence.   It’s the only way you can maintain the social order.  Since you have to come together intimately, there’s the most danger there of recognizing each other’s humanity.

Lili FOURNIER
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