Friday, November 6, 2009

Gloria Steinem's 75th Birthday Wishes

This was printed in the latest issue of Ms. Magazine and I thought it was great. This wasn't exactly what was printed there - that doesn't appear to be online yet - but still great none-the-less. These are things I also hope will come to pass in the next 25 years, for the sake of both my children.

One of the highlights of my time in the Women's Studies department at PSU was meeting Gloria Steinem. She was very kind and I will save the book she autographed for me for my daughter.

Here's her list:

I want all grown-ups to be able to get married as long as they don't hit each other.

I want to walk past the newsstand and see a lot of erotica and no pornography.

I want schools and childcare centers to have a military budget, and the military to have the school and childcare budget--provided they use that budget for peacekeeping.

I want to turn on the news and see women and men of all colors and ages reporting what went right, as well as what went wrong. And I don't want to see everything divided into two. It is ready-made hostility in the media. In Japan, when they are discussing something important, they at least have three people. That alone is like water in the desert.

I want us all to know that you can't reach useful ends by violent means.

I want to walk into Central Park and see as many white guys wheeling babies of color as there are nannies of color wheeling white babies. And I want all of them to be well paid.

I want to turn on Oprah and see a show about men trying to combine work and family.

I want all of us to understand, we all came from Africa, all of us.

I hope that we learn from the original wisdom of this country, the land on which we stand, which is that it took four generations to heal one violent act.

I want to see a history about back in the day when people thought they had to surgically change their bodies to fit society - breast implants! nose jobs! liposuction! - Instead of changing society to fit our different bodies.

I want to walk past buildings that used to house Wal-Mart, Bloomingdale's, Banana Republic and all the other chains - as well as masses of concrete once known as shopping malls - and find them turned into really nice schools, community centers, rollerblade rinks, tennis courts, pocket parks, whatever the community needs. This has become possible because now, people only buy what they really need or love.


  1. Back in the day, I thought Gloria Steinem was just a nut, but that was because I believed what the mainstream press said about her. And then I started reading her books. Her book, "Revolution From Within" changed my life. Thanks for posting this about Ms. Steinem. I owe her a real debt.


  2. It's funny how the "establishment" always tries to discredit the best voices....even Jesus!! I too LOVE Gloria and I often see people roll their eyes when I bring up her name, but she is different than how she has been represented - and LIFE CHANGING for sure!!!