Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem, whose name will be forever linked to the feminist movement, spoke today at a benefit luncheon for the Women's Resource of Greater Houston. And, more than 1,000 women showed up at the J.W. Marriott Hotel to enjoy the wit and wisdom of the 79-year-old activist and author. 

The crowd was full of enthusiastic fans, so the energy of the room for high. But, even more so when Steinem approached the podium and loudspeakers blared out the empowering tune, "I Am Woman."

During her remarks, Steinem referenced an earlier visit to Houston, back in 1977, when she participated in the first (and only) National Conference for Women and applauded our city for electing a female mayor, saying "you have had the good taste to elect a woman mayor." 

Steinem also mentioned her hope that a commemorative plaque will eventually be placed where the conference was held. 

Among those things, Steinem spoke at length about the pay gap between women and men and suggested equal pay would be "the single best stimulus package," putting $200 billion more into the economy each year. 

Gloria and Me 
After the luncheon, a handful of reporters were granted interviews, and I was thrilled to be among them. We all asked a number of questions, and she answered quickly and with the same passion for women's rights she first exhibited over 40 years ago. 

I asked Steinem about the possibility of another National Conference for Women. She smiled but reminded me that funds for the first one were appropriated by Congress. Then, with a sigh, she expressed her belief that our current legislators weren't likely to do the same. 

I couldn't help but think, "That really is too bad."

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