I just heard a wonderful radio interview with Gloria Steinem. She comes to Seattle annually to work at Hedgebrook, a women’s writing retreat. I had the good fortune to attend a dinner with writers from Hedgebrook, and it was a gift to hear about their experiences. Hedgebrook hosts women writers from all over the world (many of whom are unpublished) for periods of 2 weeks to several months at no-cost to them. It provides tranquility and privacy during the day, and at night the women gather together for dinner in an old farmhouse. Steinem is currently at Hedgebrook working on her memoir America As if Everyone Mattered. Here are some particularly good excerpts from her interview yesterday.
On world peace:
Men raising children, as much as women do, is the key to world peace. The cult of masculinity, which is the major cause of violence on earth if the violence is not in self defense, will only humanize and dissipate and come to value life through nurturing and through fatherhood.
On the folly of ignoring America’s second class citizens:
If we ever wanted to see what we had been missing all these years in terms of talent, look at the presidential election. Look at Obama, look at Hillary Clinton, look at the quality of those two individuals. And they are just a small view into the talent we’ve been missing and are just beginning to tap.
On her decision not to have children:
In my generation it was perceived as a choice: either you gave birth to someone else or you gave birth to yourself.
Steinem on the word “feminist:”
There’s an attitude that if all women don’t call themselves feminists we’ve failed…but the truth is that more women self identify as feminists than Republicans, so this is not so bad.