Women’s History Month 2012: Gloria Steinem

25 Mar

I have to say that Gloria Steinem is one of the reasons why I wanted to become a social worker.  What better day to recognize her than on her 78th birthday.  On her birthday I would like to honor and pay tribute to Gloria Steinem. Steinem is an icon of social justice for women, the LGBT community,  the disenfranchised and all marginalized populations. Steinem has dedicated her life to creating a level playing field for women, while at the same time embracing and working on issues for all marginalized peoples. In my humble opinion, Seinem’s voice is one of the most important in the 20th and 21st Centuries. My first reading of Revolution From Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, spoke to me as a gay man and how institutionalized oppression can take its toll and how we must unite to speak our own truth. As most of you know, Steinem co-founded Ms. Magazine and helped a culture learn about the power of words: Miss, Mrs. and Ms. I have heard Ms. Steinem speak three times and each time I left in awe and inspired. I don’t understand any of her detractors, for she speaks with such love and compassion. Listening to Steinem, one realized how fully she understands deep rooted patriarchy, misogyny, and oppression. I dare say, her detractors have never heard her speak, nor have ever read anything she has written. Yes, she supports a woman’s right to govern her own body–a controversy that would not exist if there were legislation trying to control what men could do with their bodies. I applaud Gloria Steinem for her courage and for her contributions to social justice, she encourages and inspires us all to understand more about the intersections of oppression.  Happy Birthday!

6 Responses to “Women’s History Month 2012: Gloria Steinem”

  1. Christine Noble March 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    I missed a chance to see Gloria speak here in my beloved Rochester back in the fall. Hopefully, this being the birthplace of the women’s movement and all (I am sure opinions vary but I’m standing firm on that assertion) she will be back by someday soon. She is something special, never really falling into the transphobia that a lot of the rest of the movement fell into when she was at the height of her popularity.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

      Christine, I really hope you get to meet her and hear her speak. While there were two waves of the Women’s Movement that were regrettably racist, homophobic, and transphobic, our Gloria seems to have had a very early comprehensive understanding of how oppression is interlocking and encompasses all marginalized populations.

  2. Didion March 29, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    Steinem has always had an amazing gift for framing the problem simply and clearly — and as we all know, cutting through all the bullshit takes real skill and intelligence. I’d be hard pressed to think of another feminist with that skill.

    But I’ve got my eyes open for young feminists who are prepared to take up the Gloria mantel — there’s an amazing generation of fiery, smart young women out there, prepared to fight new battles. Especially when their birth control is threatened.

    Nice work as always, Michael The Great!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 29, 2012 at 7:13 am #

      Are you familiar with Jessica Valenti? She is quite young and also gifted in cutting through all the bullshit. Thank you for your kind words and support!

      • Didion March 29, 2012 at 8:23 am #

        LOVE Valenti — she’s one of the people I follow. And Shelby Knox, who’s all of 25 and has been a feminist activist since she was about 16. And many others, especially online. Fabulous, exciting, inspiring.

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt March 29, 2012 at 8:25 am #

        I must say that Valenti and Knox help give me hope!

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