Gloria Steinem has been one of the most well-known spokespeople for equal rights, specifically women’s, since the start of her journalism career in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At the age of eighty-six, she is still an activist, traveling around the world as an organizer and lecturer speaking on issues of equality. For 2021’s International Women’s Day she spoke with the magazine Variety’s Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller and how women ‘just need to keep going,’ even though there is a darkness that resides within the halls of equality.
She admits that one of the main reasons that women are under subordination from men is because women have wombs. Their bodies are the foundation of society. Steinem states that right-wing groups are against abortions and clinics like Planned Parenthood that teach contraception mostly because white women are choosing to have fewer children on average than women of color. Even though women have begun gaining control over birth, sexual assault and rape have increased. On the flip side, these cases are reported more often, and illegal, putting a stronger end to the era of questioning.
Steinem points out that though large steps have been made with the legislation of equal pay, it still does not exist for women. If it did, it would boost over $500 billion more a year into the economy from women. But because women are not seen at the same ‘value’ as men in the workforce, a male parking attendant gets paid more than a female child care attendant. This shows that largely male professions are seen as ‘more valuable’ than largely female professions. Why do you think teachers are not paid as well, even though they help to foster and educate the next generation?
‘The fact that we have an International Women’s Day means we are still in trouble,’ states Steinem; ‘There is no International Men’s Day. Only less powerful people or forgotten historical events need “A Day” to be part of the present. Yet it’s an important step because any notice is better than no notice.’