Gloria Steinem: An Inspiration

posted April 4th, 2008 by Janet Graham - Leave a Comment

When asked the question “Who would you like to have dinner with, if you could invite anyone to join you?” I said I would love to have dinner with Gloria Steinem.

I find her profoundly inspirational!!!

I have seen her speak on several occasions and each time she has walked on stage, the largely female adudience has risen to their feet in a spontaneous and prolonged standing ovation. I believe they are applauding her courage and determination, her willingness to fight for the rights of all women!

On each occasion, she has encourgaged the women in the audience to perform an outrageous act, every day!! And I must say, this idea has always appealed to me!! And she suggests women get together in groups of 13, her version of a Baker’s Dozen, to plan larger scale outrageous acts. I am guessing what she really believes is that these groups will offer each women who participates in them an incredible network of support and a by-product might be courageous and outrageous acts. I agree with her. I believe women require networks of support, comprised of other women.

It makes me sad to think that many younger women when asked, do not know the name Gloria Steinem. This seems almost impossible to me and rather frightening!

Young women have an attitude of entitlement earlier generations of women would have been unable to imagine. In part, their belief in their right to participate fully in the world was made possible because of what earlier generations of women fought for and against in all areas of their lives.

What does the failure to recognize that the rights and privileges they enjoy in their lives today are available to them because of the courage, strength and sacrifice of earlier generations of women fighting, with great courage, for what they believed to be the birthright of women everywhere in the world, mean in the long term? I believe it means they are taking a huge risk and it scares me!!

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