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.’
Here is a deluxe batch of bookish tweets that I’m sure will give you more than enough inspiration and confidence to conquer the world without any fear of anything that may be standing in your way… and also to read all these classics while you still can.
In honor of Women’s History Month, here are nine contemporary female poets that are making a big impact!
1. Warsan Shire
Even before her poetry was featured in Beyonce’s Lemonade, Warsan Shire has been a poetic super-star with a cult following. Shire’s work centers around feminist issues, race displacement, immigrant and refugee experiences, trauma, and politics. Her most notable works include Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth and Her Blue Body.
image via The New Yorker
2. Rupi Kaur
Another poetic super-star, Rupi Kaur, initially gained a following through social media. She was one of the forerunners of the Instapoetry movement, sharing her poems along with her own illustrations. Kaur’s work focuses on abuse, femininity, self-care, love, and heartbreak. Kaur’s two books are titled Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers.
Megan Falley is a queer femme author and powerful slam poet. Her Youtube Channel, where she posts her epic performances, has garnered over a million views and she has been named a National Poetry Slam Finalist and Pushcart Prize nominee. Her work focuses on LGBTQ issues, sex and body positvitiy, sexism, homophobia, and love. Some of her notable works include After the Witch Hunt, Drive Here and Devastate Me, Bad Girls Honey (Poems About Lana Del Rey).
Evie Shockley is somewhat of an experimental poet, often stepping outside of the box in terms of structure, form, and themes within her work. Her work focuses on race and feminism and are often presented in the form of a retold fairytale. Some of Shockley’s most recent and prominent works include the new black, and semiautomatic.
Inspired by New York City hip hop and the traditional Palestinian stories of her grandparents, poet Suheir Hammad explores the destruction and reconstruction of the female body, of culture, and of language in her work. Hammad has received many awards, including a Tony award for her work on Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway (2003). Some of her collections include Born Palestinian, Born Black; Zaatar Diva; and Breaking Poems.
image via medium
9. matthea harvey
Poet Matthea Harvey has a unique talent for blending the most iconic commercialized images and blends them all together into one. She describes herself as a “gatherer” collecting inspiration for her poems from music, scraps of conversations, images, and paintings. Harvey’s most prominent works include If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?, Modern Life, and Sad Little Breathing Machine.
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