18 Oct Women’s Lib!
“Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.” ~ Gloria Steinem
I stumbled upon a current interview with Gloria Steinem on TV over the weekend. The interviewer took to the streets of Toronto as part of the piece, to ask young women seemingly in their twenties, if they know who Gloria Steinem is. I was mortified to see the results… most of the young women had never heard of her. Suddenly I knew exactly what this week’s posting was going to be about!
In the 60’s and 70’s, Gloria Steinem became the poster girl for feminism all over the world. She was (and still is) a tireless social and poitical activist, a writer and an investigative journalist. The feminists fought for equal pay, education and opportunity for women. In my opinion, what set Gloria apart from the stereotypical activist was that she was beautiful and sexy. I think that this gave her huge credibility – being sexy and equal were not mutually exclusive. (By the way, nowadays, she is a stunning example of how good 77 can look!)
In a very recent PBS interview, Gloria was asked what made the 60’s a unique time. She answered, “I assumed you had to get married and you had to have children otherwise you were a little crazy…. It was the general idea that every person had to live a very similar life…The women’s movement brought the whole idea of uniqueness combined with community…but that you didn’t have to play a role – you could actually be an individual.”
You see, girls, we have so much to thank Gloria and the other staunch members of the Woman’s Liberation Movement for and yet we have much more to do…it is too soon to rest on our laurels. While I know that we have come a long way since the heyday of the movement, women who do not choose traditional marriage and children are still thought of as a little “crazy”…(Yes, I speak with some experience on this subject!) One only has to follow popular culture to see that the Cinderella effect is still alive and well, in fact thriving, and it remains the primary goal of an alarming number of young girls and women, to find their Prince Charming, their knight in shining armour.
Become your own soul mate, girls! Know that if you seek happiness from being with another, your happiness will be vulnerable and fleeting. Be truly comfortable in your own skin, live your own truth, realize your own full potential and dream your own irrepressible dreams! Only then will you be able to be a truly great wife and mother – if that is what you CHOOSE to be.
In the meantime, do yourself a favor and educate yourself about the great Gloria Steinem and the Women’s Liberation Movement. If nothing else, you will undoubtedly have one more thing to add to your gratitude journal tonight!