I’ve been thinking a lot about Steinem since the recent unfortunate episode on a TV talk show. I was heartsick. What woman gets past 80 without a single regrettable senior moment? But most of us will be fortunate enough to have a spouse, partner, adult child, or other companion who will take us aside and suggest we rethink what we’re doing or saying. “Mom, I’m getting a little worried. Can we check your meds? What do you think?”
But Steinem doesn’t have that sort of support system. The women that were closest to her for a long, long time are already dead.
So I republish this blog post asking you to think, not about the single magic moment, for which she later apologized, but instead, for all the amazing accomplishments and selfless deeds she has done on behalf of women, and for her willingness in a time when most of white America kept to itself, to learn at the feet of women of color.
Because this is her legacy; her real one.
Feminist heroes are everywhere, but if I had to name half a dozen women that were at the core of the feminist movement that followed closely on the heels of the Civil Rights movement and the movement to end the US war in Vietnam, Steinem’s name would be among them. In fact, hers might be the first name out of my mouth. It was she who coined the salutation “Ms”, and who founded Ms. Magazine. When I saw she had written a memoir, I knew I had to have it, and when Net Galley and Random House gave me the DRC, I was delighted. But this is one of the few books that if I’d had to, I’d have been willing to pay full jacket price in order to read. Heroes are thin on the ground these days, and we treasure those that still walk among us.
My reading records…
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