Gloria Steinem Says Feminism Hasn’t Changed Since the ‘60s

Gloria Steinem Says Feminism Hasn’t Changed Since the ‘60s

-So happy
to have you here tonight. I just want to start
with the title, “The Truth Will Set You Free,
But First It Will Piss You Off!” Did the title
come to you pretty easily? -Yes. The world brought the
title to me very easily, yes. [ Laughter ]
Right, right. -Sort of left it
on the doorstep, and then you had
to write a book for it. -Yes, right, absolutely.
-What is — -There’s too many truths that’s
definitely piss you off, right? -What is most uniquely
or most specifically pissing you off right now? -Well, I guess you could say
the person in the White House. I mean, I can’t —
-Yeah. There’s no other way
of saying it. -There’s no other way,
because he was not elected, and there he is, and,
uh, you know. -Yeah.
And he’s there every day. Yeah.
[ Laughter ] -Fortunately,
he’s making us woke, I think. -Oh, you think
he’s helping awaken us to — -Yes, because I’ve never —
I travel a lot, and I’ve never seen the degree
of activism that I’m seeing now. -So this is sort of
an optimistic — [ Cheers and applause ] I sort of wonder,
because you have this incredible perspective
on this, having, basically, you know —
-It’s called being old. [ Laughter ]
-Well, yeah. I was trying to be —
[ Laughter ] You have such wonderful pers– No, but, obviously,
you became a feminist activist in the late ’60s,
so there must be — You obviously have seen
so much positive change. And yet there are many things to still be upset
and frustrated about. How has the definition
of feminism changed, as far as you see it, from the
late ’60s, early ’70s to now? -I don’t think it’s really
changed because it’s just the radical idea that women
are full human beings. [ Laughter, cheers, applause ] -Very radical.
[ Cheers and applause ] -But I think now
we’re much more likely to realize how deep it goes.
-Mm-hmm. -You know, to realize — to be
really political for a moment — that controlling reproduction
is the first step in every hierarchy,
in every totalitarian regimen and everything — and that means
controlling women’s bodies. So, you know, it was true
of the National Socialists, as they were called in Germany,
it’s true of groups here, and I don’t think
we put that together. I mean, we thought that women’s
issues were women’s issues. We didn’t understand the
connections to everything else. -You sort of began
as a freelance writer. Did you find your activism
through the work you were doing as a writer or did you begin
your writing as an activist? -No. I think I definitely
thought of myself as a writer because I just wanted to be
there with my little notebook, you know, not being
on television and talking. [ Laughter ] -You sort of famously —
Your earliest pieces, I believe, was,
you sort of went undercover at the Playboy clubs
and wrote a piece that sort of brought you to fame
and prominence, Obviously that —
You couldn’t be taking notes — -Yes, I was,
but in the bathroom. -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] -Putting them down my costume.
-Was that then after that that people thought
that you would just be this sort of
undercover reporter? -Well, yes, I got some terrible
assignments after that. [ Laughter ] I was glad I did it,
because it did improve the working condition of
Bunnies, which was awful. -Yeah.
-But it also typecast me in a way that now, old as I am,
people say, “Oh, she was just
a former Bunny.” [ Laughter ] -Right, they don’t realize
that you were only a Bunny to write the piece
in the first place. -Yeah, and then when I explain,
I think, “No, I don’t want
to desert those women. They were just looking for —
to make a living.” You know?
-Yeah. -So, it’s always
a moral dilemma. -And, you know, I think that,
across this entire issue, you realize, like,
anyone who had seen the idea of what a Bunny was,
at the time, I’m assuming, was like, “Gosh, they look like they’re having the best time
in the world.” So, it was so helpful for you
to write a piece like that. -Yeah, but how can you be having
the best time when you are unclothed and wearing
a costume that’s so tight, it would give a man a cleavage?
-Yeah. [ Laughter ] -And everybody else is clothed. That’s political in itself.
-Yeah. No, that — I would not be happy
in a situation like that. Yeah.
[ Laughter ] As much as I like serving drinks
to my friends. [ Laughter ] -Somebody once did
try a male Bunny thing, but it just didn’t work.
-Yeah, no. I would imagine
it would be pretty bad. [ Laughter ] I don’t even know what animal
is the equivalent. Like, what did they —
What was it? Do you know?
-What? -Like, just a bunch of guys
with, like, elks walking around, with giant antlers?
[ Laughter ] -That’s a good question.
I don’t know. -Yeah, we’re gonna get
to the bottom of it. Tweet us whatever
you think it is.


33 thoughts on “Gloria Steinem Says Feminism Hasn’t Changed Since the ‘60s”

  • It was awesome seeing her in person at the Women’s March in DC back in 2017!
    One good thing that Trump has managed to do is get people around my age to get involved in politics and activism for the first time. Organizing and participating in protests in the largest numbers since the 1960’s!

  • Didn’t Gloria make Bernie an honorary ‘woman’ for his fight for women back in the day? Seems having a woman President outweighs her original values.

  • * looks to the bookshelf at 'The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable by Jamie Buckingham' and furrows brows *

  • MyMother'sGarden says:

    Yes Gloria, as much as our current regime has been a giant step backwards for our country and its people, we have "woke." Sometimes it takes extreme contrast to make us appreciate the good. Now more than ever before, we appreciate what "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is all about. Let's be even more active and vocal than ever before next year and get out and vote in record numbers!

  • You can see she's not really comfortable being on a comedy show, she's used to being a writer and a thinker, but not an entertainer. All the greater to see her here!

  • Daddy Mozzarella says:

    It’s funny how triggered some people get by the word feminism. They think it means “men bad, women good” but it’s simply about equality. If you don’t understand that then you don’t understand history and the roles women have played throughout it. The long-standing patriarchy is dying, deal with it.

  • I'm not sure I agree that feminism hasn't changed. I'm fairly sure most feminists would also disagree. Though, that's not to say its not a discussion worth having at greater length than this clip and format allows.

    As an example of how feminism has changed for the better, in the 1980's, it was popular even acceptable in the second wave to be extremely hostile to trans-women.

    Now, feminists use the term "Terf" to rightly distance themselves from this kind of transphobic bigotry.

    Theres a change just in the last 30 or so years.

  • And 54% of white women voted for Trump? Just goes to show you that white women say one thing but will vote the way the way they really feel and how their white mate tells them to vote! It's a bunch of bs because it only serves the white woman.

  • She's old enough to be my mother but I'd love to be her husband/ boyfriend/ confidant.
    She's such a wise woman and every bit my equal and more….

  • Gloria Steinam, she’s an icon and super important to the movement as a whole. But she’s wrong. The feminist movement has largely ignored trans women and women of color, and it was only the past decade or so that it began to shift. Her comments in 2015 about how if you didn’t support Clinton 2016 as a woman, you were going to hell. She’s been problematic of late and getting white feminists to understand the challenge women of color and women in the LGBT community still face in the modern age despite the progress women have made as a whole. and sadly under the current administration, everyone has regressed. but the message needs to remain inclusive, and saying it hasn’t changed since the 1960s shows your perspective on who the movement is really for.

  • Chocolate Muffin says:

    So… in those "playboy clubs" half-naked women were walking around like pieces of meat, with men touching them and possibly fucking them in the corners… And she's like "Their clothes were too tight, those poor girls". Either she didn't want to discuss the whole thing or feminism HAS changed a lot, thankfully lol

  • I have a lot of respect for the work she has done. She has been pivotal in starting a development, that was absolutely needed.
    Having said that, she is wrong. Feminism has, if not changed, branched out.

  • Bernard Oliveira says:

    "It hasn't changed." Famous thinker Richard Dawkins is dis-invited from a convention for making a three some joke in while next to a feminist. Lucasfilm which is run by a feminist insults fans of their franchises, make movies based on superficial things like diversity instead of good writing. Anita Sarkeesian gets a load of funding from the UN to make a certain number of videos discussing made up sexism in video games, doesn't make even half those videos and the UN doesn't bat an eye. The women's soccer team gets paid 12% of what their world cup makes while the men only get paid 7%. If this is how feminism has always been then maybe it's time to stop it.

  • Back in the late ’60s I heard this joke. I’m going to paraphrase because I’m 73 and only remember the punchline well.

    A young woman at a feminist rally became very upset, so she went to her mentor. She told her mentor that she didn’t think she was doing her best at being a “true feminist”. The female mentor said to the young woman…pray to god and She will help you.

  • Greed. It now takes 2 incomes for a family to be present in the middle class. Women don't have a choice. I have yet to meet an average working class mother who doesn't wish with all her heart she could be home raising her children. But no, thanks to the feminist wenches she no longer has that option. Back in the day only men got heart attacks because of job stress. Now women have surpassed men in heart attacks because their stress has doubled and tripled, working and homemaking. Children are being raised by social media and we wonder why they are so desensitized they have zero empathy. Iv'e been waiting to say this a long time. FU Gloria Steinem and all your ilk , you more than anyone else have damaged the American family to such an extent people lives have become labor enslaved and we are miserable!

  • "Woman, once made equal to man, becomes his superior." — Socrates
    Socrates was truly fearful of women having access to any power.
    As I progress through recovering from being a Male Chauvinist Pig, I've updated his quote:
    "Man, upon acknowledging woman's superiority, becomes her equal." — Don Orfeo

  • She is great! I never heard an interview with her before, but now I would like to hear a lot more.
    Hoping for a full interview on YT!
    And 1:29 was just on point.

  • "Women are more for [Clinton] than men are. Men tend to get more conservative because they gain power as they age, women get more radical because they lose power as they age.
    They’re going to get more activist as they grow older. And when you’re younger, you think: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.'"
    -Gloria Steinem
    The words of a true 'feminist'. Young women only support socialism because that's where the boys are? But voting for someone who has lied to them, supported endless wars (in which women and children suffer most), welfare cuts (again hurting women and children) and the neo-liberal philosophy of profits above people.
    Steinem's feminism has always been to get women out the home and into the work place…and that's about it. Ask any working mother, did this set you free or do you now have to serve two masters?
    Intelligence, compassion, a sense of justice and concern for the future does not depend on genitalia, but the depth of soul and broadness of mind.

  • Feminism HAS changed. Women are just as much human beings and deserve the same rights as men. BUT a large portion of today's "feminists" aren't fighting to make everyone equal, they're fighting to make men be as oppressed as women were.
    Just because someone has been mistreated doesn't allow them to mistreat someone else. Today's men (the majority at least) aren't the same as the men who were oppressors and shouldn't be punished just because they are men.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *