Friday, June 12, 2009

Gloria Steinem Visits Vermont

Gloria Steinem was in Burlington last night and gave a talk (or as she called it--led an organizing rally) at the Hilton Hotel, sponsored by Vermont Woman Newspaper, I got to see one of my role models in person!

I never thought she had a very commanding speaking voice but she certainly has presence and still does at 75. She is so intelligent, both well and thoughtfully read, extensively travelled, compellingly accomplished, and carefully--if not forcefully--articulate.

It is easy to forget that there were few options for females back in my high school days--teacher, nurse, secretary. And if getting pregnant interrupted any of those three options, that was it. Married and a home maker or a year "visiting an auntie out west." I do remember feeling on the cusp of big changes. Birth control, WOW. Once we were discussing abortion in one of my high school religion classes. (I went to a Catholic high school and the sentiment was strongly against the concept of abortion.) I offered the opinion that abortion was an extraordinary step and even that i understood the arguments against it, but it seemed a simple solution to preventing abortion would strong support for birth control. That went over like a fart in church let me tell you.

It is scary, though. Basic human rights make an advance and then there is a back lash. Just this week a doctor was shot while because he performs abortions in his practice. The terrorist attack took place while he attended church, not while he was practicing medicine. Support life or we'll kill you, that's a coherent philosophy.

Anyway, Gloria Steinem was awesome and i am going to subscribe to Vermont Woman.

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