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Gloria Steinem on Sarah Palin

By September 11, 2008

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I like Gloria Steinem. I also respect and admire her. But that's no surprise coming from a women's issues writer.

Did I tell you I met Gloria Steinem? Sat right next to her at a small gathering of progressive-minded women and heard her speak for about 45 minutes.

Do not believe the stereotypes you may have been fed in the past. She has a low, pleasant voice and is soft-spoken, very thoughtful, very gentle in her manner. She possesses tremendous grace and integrity, and I can't see her being construed as strident.

Believe it or not, she does not like conflict. Yet she's moved mountains of thought and resistance in her push to bring women's issues and women's rights to the forefront. She's not mocking, cynical, or nasty. And she speaks her mind carefully, understanding that the weight of her words will have impact.

I say all this because it's important for you to know these things about her. Gloria Steinem has made women's issues her life.

Here is her take on Sarah Palin in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.


September 12, 2008 at 3:43 am
(1) M.LL says:

Well, as to Ms Steinem comment about Palin.
I will say again, women are our own worst enemy. I don’t remember reading anything from her about Ms Hillary when she was running, do you. If so let me know where to search.
A little background on her. Founder of MS Magazine when MS was not accepted even by women. Speaking up for womens rights to include “our bodies our choice” It seems when she was in the lesbian life style she was ALWAYS supportive of women to gain political power. Of course that was late 60′s/70′s.
Then she got married to some guy. Haven’t heard from her in a while. She is so quick to to come forth to diminish Ms Palin,hmmm.
In defense of Ms Palin, I would think that as past Mayor, Governor (no easy task) there must be something positive about her.
Again Roe vs Wade will never be overturned, no one wants “Cloths Hangers” and backrooms. ever.

September 12, 2008 at 7:30 am
(2) Carla says:


Gloria Steinem came under some attack after
implying that black men in this country had reached positions of power and voting rights before any woman did. (Actually, while black men LEGALLY had the right to vote, black men and black women were not allowed full participation in the voting process until the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Prior to this Act being passed, blacks were kept from actually voting due to intimidation and even violence perpetrated by whites.) Steinem’s assertion is up for debate,as power is often relative.

Steinem indeed stood up for Hillary Clinton, and expressed her views in a controversial op-ed piece for the New York Times. I think she also wrote someting in the New York Observer. Google it.

Palin’s popularity among all three people living in Alaska is not necessarily indicative of any special magic within her. Infact, it actually leads me to wonder what exactly is wrong with Alaskans. Mad moose disease, perhaps? Her ability to win seats as mayor and governor simply indicates she is ambitious, nothing more. (Ambition can be a good thing, but compassion and intelligence can be positives, too.)

Back to Steinem. It is true that many women weren’t too pleased with her back in the early days, but this isn’t indicative of her value. Many women were comfortable in roles as wife and mother, the “woman behind the great man”. Some believed that to reach for more could lead to consequences no woman could bear. (For example, there was a belief from some women that if the ERA passed, their husbands would no longer want them.)

Steinem and her comrades shook thinks up, and enouraged choices for women. I am grateful for this: I am thirty six and child-free by choice, up at 6 a.m. to finish a project from my home office. (I have my own successful business.)

All that said, there is no way in hell I could ever vote for the McCain/Palin ticket. I happen to be a person the conservative Republicans never seem to acknowledge:

A woman with a functioning brain.

September 12, 2008 at 8:12 am
(3) Mamma says:

I agree with the above poster that women are our own worst enemy. Look at Oprah Winfrey’s decision not to have either Clinton or Palin on her show. Both of these women have achieved much, yet she ignores this. IN addition, Palin is undergoing much abuse in the media, yet women’s organizations will not come to her rescue. They will judge her political viewpoints as something not on their agenda and therefore consider her non existent. However, I see women as women. Simple. Sure, I wish Palin’s views were closer to mine, but I totally respect her and am very excited about her nomination. I do wish women’s organizations could put aside bias and really care for women. Honestly, we could use the help out there. It is an unfair world and the back stabbing within our own world keeps us down.

September 12, 2008 at 8:47 am
(4) carla says:

Why stand up for a woman who hurts other women?

September 12, 2008 at 9:46 am
(5) Virginia Harris says:

Hi Linda,

Gloria Steinem and Governor Palin are proof that women can and do diverge on important issues.

Even on the question of whether women should vote!

Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won votes for women, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.

Suffragettes were opposed by many women who were what was known as ‘anti.’

The most influential ‘anti’ lived in the White House. First Lady Edith Wilson was a Washington widow who married President Wilson in 1915, after the death of his pro-suffrage

I’d like to share a women’s history learning opportunity…

“The Privilege of Voting” is a new free e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 – 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to win the vote.

It’s a real-life soap opera about the suffragettes! And it’s ALL true!

Powerful suffragettes Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with TWO gorgeous presidential mistresses, First Lady Edith Wilson, Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan and Alice Roosevelt.

There are tons of heartache on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, women WIN!

Thanks to the success of the suffragettes, women have voices and choices!

Exciting, sequential episodes are great to read on coffeebreaks, or anytime.

I hope you will subscribe. It’s free at


September 13, 2008 at 8:26 am
(6) ettagirl2 says:

This generalization that women are their own worst enemies is tiring, and always makes me wonder if it’s being perpetuated by men. Stop pigeon-holing us. We’re individuals, that’s all the feminist movement ever wanted the world to acknowledge. I don’t support Sarah Palin because I don’t agree w/ her world views; and anyone who supports her primarily because she’s a woman is, well, sexist! Our civic responsibility is to examine our own warped perspectives (because we all have them), and try to move beyond them to measure someone by the merits of his or her ideas and actions, not by skin color or anatomy.

September 16, 2008 at 5:34 pm
(7) M.LL says:

Ladies, thanks for your responses and not attacking.
Agree to Disagree is my motto, one of many

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