Thursday, October 8, 2009

FMF staff meets the great Gloria Steinem

Upon graduating college, a longtime friend said "this is a favorite book of mine, I wanted to give it to someone who I thought would appreciate it" and then gave me Gloria Steinem’s Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. She couldn't have been more right. I finished the collection of articles in a heartbeat, never putting it down, reading it on my commute, my walk to work, my lunch hour, etc... It forced me to evaluate the various facets of feminism past, present and future and my role in them.

Three years later, I’m here at the Feminist Majority, doing what I love and getting the privilege of sitting in on the Women, Money, Power Summit’s "Power Luncheon Celebrating Gloria Steinem." The luncheon included moving introductions from FM powerhouses like Kathy Spillar, Peg Yorkin and Eleanor Smeal, as well as an encouraging speech by the energetic co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America, Dolores Huerta.

Following Ms. Huerta's speech, which reminded attendees of their personal political potential and the power of “si se puede/yes we can," came a number of selected Ms. magazine letters, read by volunteers of all ages, to Gloria Steinem. Each letter poured with gratitude for Gloria's courage, inspirational activism and feminist voice.

When it was Gloria's turn to speak, it quickly became evident why she is at the top of the pack. She not only spoke on women's rights, particularly concerning the current health care debate, but then powered through to the next issue by talking about gun control. Her sincere warmth, wit and doggedness in constantly challenging society lived up to her legend.

When meeting her (where my mature self turned into a 12 year old *nsync/jonas brother fan, pick your poison depending on your age bracket,) she, without being asked, told me, "There is no such thing as 'should do.' You shouldn't have to do anything. Go with your heart."
Per Gloria, I'm signing off this blog entry with the phrase "No home is safe with a gun."

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