I hope you will tune in to HBO Monday night (8/15) at 9 for the documentary profile of my friend Gloria Steinem. It’s an extraordinarily instructive film–and even though I was around for a lot of it (as reporter and then friend) watching the sum-in-celluloid of this remarkable woman was very moving.
In it is the example of how one becomes–and stays–a life-long activist. It’s not so easy: for sure, you will be brought to tears–and here we see the cruelty imposed on Gloria–for being a feminist, for being smart, even for being beautiful. But we also see the arc of involvement, commitment and purely heroic efforts to make lives of women better. No one says it more succinctly, as reported in the film, than astronaut Sally Ride’s mother, when asked what she had to say about her daughter taking off into space: “Thank you, Gloria Steinem.”
While I’d seen a DVD version of Gloria–In Her Own Words, sitting in a theater to watch with Women’s Media Center family and friends one night last week brought to full power her lifetime’s achievement. I took with me four Black media professionals–a group I meet with regularly to talk about “the business”–two young women, two young men (after all, feminism is for us all.) I think our responsibility now is to make sure a wide audience has access to this life story: absolutely singular, worthy of emulation.
Speaking of the media, HBO’s Sheila Nevins, the genius behind so much good work at that network, hosted a media luncheon for Gloria this week at La Grenouille: Katie Couric, Ann Curry, Gayle King, Tina Brown, Leslie Stahl, Glamour editor Cindi Leve–along with a sprinkle of actors–Candace Bergen, Kim Cattrell, Christine Baranski.
The Women’s Media Center is running a campaign to coincide with the HBO screening: after watching the doc, let us know what you think the future of feminism is: http://tinyurl.com/3gfvzce