Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gloria Steinem


Gloria Steinem gave a talk at Urban ReThink on October 19th at three in the afternoon. Gloria is a well known and respected feminist who founded MS Magazine. I arrived an hour early to be sure I got a good vantage point to sketch from. Police were on hand to make sure that Urban ReThink didn't exceed the maximum allowance for attendees. As people settled into their chairs, I sketched.

Gloria's talk mostly centered on encouraging people to vote. She said that the Richard Nixon presidential champagne was the first to discourage voters by portraying the government as corrupt. The fewer people voted, the better chance he had of winning. Gloria heard stories from people who had trouble getting to polling station,. Buses ran late and police cars blocked access to some poling stations. This tended to happen in under privileged neighborhoods. She highlighted Romney's positions when it came to women's health. She then outlined how women's health issues had been controlled throughout history. The American Indian women knew about contraception using herbs and careful lunar timing to only conceive a child when the season was right. When the settlers arrived, the Indians referred to the European women as "those who die in child birth." Today she feels that poor women are supposed to get pregnant as often as possible to supply young soldiers for the army.

Gloria pointed out the importance of gathering together to discuss common causes. Although we are supposed to be more interconnected than ever thanks to social media like Facebook and Twitter, you get more out of groups coming together. In the question and answer session a young man got choked up as he spoke passionately about a cause he believed in. Gloria pointed out that everyone in the room felt that passion, not just from his words but from every aspect of his presence. There is an electricity that comes from community gatherings like this. She encouraged everyone to mingle after her talk. You might meet a friend or find someone passionate about the same cause. Anything is possible and a single voice can make a difference. Vote.

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