Legendary feminist, activist, and journalist Gloria Steinem addressed an audience at Simmons College in Boston Friday night, forty years after she delivered a commencement address there and was honored with a doctorate in human justice from the school. Steinem’s talk was titled “The F Word: Feminism Today” and featured her thoughts on such contemporary feminist issues as reproductive rights, the gender wage gap, the feminization of poverty, and… the Real Housewives?
In talking about her views on television, Steinem told the audience, “I think the worst are the ‘Housewives’ shows, because they present women as rich, pampered, dependent and hateful towards each other.”
Though Steinem finds fault with Real Housewives, she is not necessarily against women today becoming housewives. (A subject addressed in a lengthy piece in the new issue of New York magazine.) She said that opting out of the workforce to be a stay-at-home-mom is “not a choice she is opposed to.” Steinem added, “I think we’d have to ask each individual woman… This endless accumulation of money by insecure men with holes in their chests… why? If somebody opts out of that I say fine, it’s up to them. I don’t think we can judge an individual without knowing what they really want to do, nor can we say that opting into things as it exists is helpful.”
Steinem further elaborated on the theory of gender roles, saying, “You have to be raised to be incomplete…It’s the nature of telling men they have to have X amount of power to be masculine, or that women have to attach to those men. It’s not human nature. It has everything to do with how we raise kids. Are they secure in and of themselves? Are they doing something they really enjoy and love? Then they won’t turn into Donald Trump.”
In other words: ladies, be a Bethenny Frankel, don’t be a Lisa Hochstein. Slade Smiley: you’re doing fine.
Lest you fear that Steinem is not in touch with pop culture today just because she’s no fan of Bravo, she did voice her support of HBO’s Girls: “I only saw the first couple episodes of Girls, so I can’t speak to all of it, but I think it was much more realistic as to how girls look and dress and talk, and that all sex is not wonderful… Some of it is silly and boring. It felt much more realistic to me.”
Who else thinks that Steinem is so a “Hannah”?!
Top photo – Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com
Middle photo – Bravotv.com
Bottom photo – HBO.com