Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Breakfast with Gloria Steinem

I had breakfast with Gloria Steinem this morning -- me and 1,000 other of her BFFs in Boston, at an event put on by The Commonwealth Institute, an organization that promotes women in business. She said a few things that really made me think. And a few things that really made me laugh, including: "I'd like to create a button that says 'The truth shall set you free, but first it will piss you off.'" Amen sistah.

She also talked alot about how family forms have a real connection to international and governmental relations. For example, the Native Americans had egalitarian family structures, where gender was never an issue. That lack of bias or set roles was reflected in their government, where female elders chose a chief and they could remove a chief. With three boys in the house, I will consider it a job well done if, when they grow up, they empty the dishwasher without their wives having to ask.

Later in the program a member of the audience asked her why younger women don't seem to appreciate all the hard-fought freedoms they have. This question posited -- without saying it -- why is this generation of women getting MBAs and then become stay-at-home moms? Gloria said she did not think young women don't appreciate their freedoms. It's just that women tend not to become activists about anything until they are older, and begin to feel their personal power slip away. Young women have all the power; they are fertile, pretty, etc., she said. As we age, all that changes.

5 comments:

Sarah said...

Thank you for your marvelous blog! I was fascinated by each installment about your 2nd child's birth, it was amazing! Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience.

I am working on a 2nd child and I too want to have a VBAC with a midwife at home, because of the experience I had with my first.

Thanks again!And I have been reading your book and it is amazing...I find myself fascinated with the history of childbirth. What a truly interesting book.

Sea_Gal said...

I liked your post, but I am a stay at home mom and I consider myself a feminist. I think the hight of a woman's power can be found in motherhood. As a woman I can make, birth, and breastfeed a baby, something a man can never do. As a stay at home mom I am the one teaching my daughter about the world. I am the one who will teach about womanhood and her rights as a woman. I think that feminism should be about respecting ourselves and our bodies as women, not in trying to show we are as just good as a man. I supose this is some sort of nuvo-feminism. My friend had an important, but often overlooked perspective, feminisim will keep being redefined by our daughters. In one gereation women where trying to get the right to leave there home, now many woman are trying to claim there right to be there. I know woman who's husbands wont let them be at home with their children. As mothers I believe it is our right to be there with them. I am grateful for the fruits of the feminists from every generation, they didn't start in the sixties and I hope they don't end there. Feminism will continue if we are the ones teaching our daughters and sons about it. I believe that teaching them will be a lot easier if we are fully present in thier lives. I am sad that feminism a has become so narrowly defined and involes losing so much of who we've been. I hope that wasn't too ranty, I really did like your post. :)

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