Thursday, 4 October 2012

Gloria Steinem

Last night, 1300 people (mostly women) were in attendance at Beth Am Congregation in Carmel Valley to hear Gloria Steinem, the inaugural speaker for 'The Inspiring Minds Speaker Series'.

At 78-years old, this feminist icon is articulate and engaging.

She spoke passionately about women in the workplace, reproductive rights, pay inequality, violence against women and world-wide humanitarian efforts.

Often sharing alarming statistics.

And yet Gloria calls herself a hope-aholic.

She believes that you should say what you think, do what you love, hang out with people that support you.

"Hang out with people that make you feel smart. Because you are smart."

There was a Q&A session whereby many San Diegans praised her work and leadership before getting to their point.

Humbled by this outpouring, Gloria took a moment to recount a story whereby an alarmed woman came to her and said, "My daughter doesn't know who you are." Gloria responded, "That's ok, does she know who she is?"

A local teacher came to the microphone to explore the fact that girls in her class could not express what they need, when asked specifically. Viewing it as selfish.

This lead to a discussion about the often-used phrase:  Girls can be anything they want.

"That is a lie. Because when it doesn't happen, those girls think it is their fault. Girls should be told you should be able to do whatever you want."

Many of the questions had to do with furthering the efforts of feminism.

"We are communal beings, this is what we need. Make connections. Network. Use your voice. Listen."

Before leaving the stage, she encouraged everyone in the room to turn and introduce themselves.

What a night.

It concluded with spontaneous handshakes and hugs and a room full of strangers.


  1. What an exciting, electric event, for a week that started with "Half the Sky" on PBS. Here's to more of saying what you think, doing what you love, and hanging out with people that support you. (You LIVE that motto!)

  2. Ditto Mary, and what a great report! Great sound bites that made me smile big!