then Gail Collins wrote an op-ed called "this is what 80 looks like" on Gloria Steinem. the article was matter of fact (like its subject apparently) about a woman who became the face of the feminist movement (somewhat inadvertently) - there are plenty of women of note in the earliest days of the women's movement she is just possibly the most recognizable.
about two years ago I donated to a kickstarter campaign that was raising money to complete a film on the early days of the feminist movement - it is called "She's Beautiful When She's Angry" directed by Mary Dore and Nancy Kennedy. The film is about to be premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival in early April. Phil asked me why I donated the sizable amount that I did to the project, and my answer was "because we are losing ground, not gaining and maybe this will help wake up some of the younger women who think the war is over."
from the website link above-
SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women's movement from 1966 to 1972. SHE'S BEAUTIFUL will take us from the founding of NOW, with ladies in hats and gloves, to the emergence of more radical factions of women's liberation; from intellectuals like Kate Millett to the street theatrics of WITCH ("Women's International Conspiracy from Hell!"). Artfully combining dramatizations, performance, and archival imagery, the film will recount the stories of women who fought for their own equality, and in the process created a world-wide revolution.
Remarkably, there has never been a feature film on the early days of women's liberation. SHE'S BEAUTIFUL aims not to romanticize the early movement, but to dramatize it in its exhilarating, quarrelsome, sometimes heart-wrenching glory. The film will not shy away from the controversies over race, sexual orientation and leadership that arose in the women's movement. SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY will capture the spirit of the time –it will be thrilling, scandalous, and often hilarious.
SHE'S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE'S ANGRY is a film about activists, made to inspire and empower women to work for feminism and human rights. And not only women: a film that shows the power of organizing a mass movement will be useful to all audiences interested in social change.
the war on women is being waged all over the US especially in red state territories where men think that women who are raped can't get pregnant and who think requiring a vaginal probe before obtaining an abortion is "just a fine idea"... outrageous things go on all the time when it concerns women and their status as equal members of society.
so I read the Collins column with interest to see if perhaps Gloria had answer or a game plan - she is celebrating 80 in Botswana (on an elephant) and so when the column was drawing to a close I found this particularly poignant:
"You do sort of count on her having a plan for the next stage. “We’re so accustomed to narratives, we expect there’s going to be a conclusion, or explanation or answer to the secret,” she said. “And probably the answer is, there isn’t.”
But there’s always an elephant to ride."
So I will be there at the Sarasota premiere of She's Beautiful When She's Angry and hope that the film ignites a spark in many of the younger women in the audience to stand up to the destruction of the forward progress of the women's movement of the 60s, 70s, and 80s...
and in line with my GO NOW philosophy- "there's always an elephant to ride"
go girl! Gloria! and happy birthday!!!
PS look for the movie and support the cause by going to see it and don't forget to vote!!!!!