Will the Next Gloria Steinem Please Stand Up?
When I watched HBO’s documentary Gloria: In Her Own Words, I was surprised to learn other side of the woman I have long admired. Typically touted as the “most outspoken and visible symbol of the women’s movement,” the side of Gloria that doesn’t get recognized is actually the graceful, loving, endearing humanist who not only defends the rights of women, but men, too. In fact, in the film, she describes “feminism” quite simply and with straightforward clarity: feminism is equality for all human beings. Therefore, men and women alike are feminists.
Isn’t it interesting that being a feminist often carries with it the notion that feminists are beeatches or angsty, angry rebels?
The term itself creates palpable gut-reactions. Should we not use the word anymore? Should we re-define it?
If so, what should the definition of feminism be?
On March 16, 2012 Sarah Hepola raises an important question in her New York Times article: “Where is the next Gloria Steinem, and why — decades after the media spotlight first focused on her — has no one emerged to take her place?”
We — the women and men who believe in equality for all human beings — need to decide what it is that “our cause” believes, and unite. Body image is directly connected to this movement. Eating disorders are directly connected. Mental health advocacy is directly connected. Women’s health, men’s health, LGBT rights — all connected.
The issues for which Gloria Steinem fought and defended haven’t gone away — and will not.
It is time to connect the dots and assertively synchronize our action. Have ideas on how to do that?
Let us know!
Robyn Hussa, MFA, E-RYT, is Founder and CEO of NORMAL, for which she was awarded the 2010 Champion in Women’s Health award from Ms. Sue Ann Thompson and the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation. Ms. Hussa is also a professional performer and New York producer. She is the Editor of the WeAreTheRealDeal blog site and author of Healthy Selfitude.
photo courtesy of Amy Devoogd from The New York Times