Journalist, fighter and feminist, Gloria Steinem became a women’s rights icon in the 60’s and is now the subject of Julie Taylor’s cinema film, The Glories (read more here). Based on Steinem’s own memoir, My Life on the Road, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Lulu Wilson and Ryan Keira Armstrong portray the activist in different stages of her life. Steinem, 86, spoke with Senior Planet the days after her friend and women’s pioneer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg:
SP: How do you feel about the loss of RBG?
Halo: It was a shock and a surprise. Somehow I had persuaded myself that if not immortal, she would at least be there for a while as she continued to conquer her health challenges.
SP: What are your best memories of her?
Halo: So many. We were only a year apart in age and only met when she was at ACLU where she founded the women̵7;s project. Ruth was there before the movement; she was a women’s movement. I was once lucky enough to have tea with her in her chambers at the Supreme Court.
SP: Why do you think Glorias is still relevant today?
Halo: The individual viewer should judge it, but different women’s struggle to be human continues as the MeToo movement, as security against sexual abuse on campus. It exists in every country in the world … we have advanced a lot but we are still not in a place where gender and race and class do not dominate our lives.
SP: How far do you think the women’s movement has developed since the 60’s?
Halo: Then we did not have legislation on equal pay or even idea of equal pay. Men still clung to the idea that women took away men’s jobs. At least now we have legislation, but we are not close to reality for equal pay. If we had equal pay for the work women are already doing, we would put something like $ 400 billion more into the economy. And if men were as responsible for raising children as women, it would be a huge economic revolution and also one human revolution because men would develop their so-called feminine qualities – which of course are not feminine, but only human – of connection, empathy, caring and attention to detail, in the same way that women also develop our so-called masculine qualities to be in the paid the labor force because there are no masculine or feminine qualities; there are only human qualities.
SP: How did you feel about Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander portraying you?
Halo: I was so moved that they wanted to do it and was also very moved by the description of my relationship with my father [played by Timothy Hutton] because he was not an easy person. In many ways he was irresponsible but it did not matter because he loved me and treated me like a friend.
SP: What is your secret to aging with attitude?
Halo: That’s a good phrase! There is no real secret, you are always the unique self that was born in this world, you just keep adding experiences. I’m often with younger women, so I guess that keeps me young. Earlier in my life I was often the youngest person in the group – now I am the oldest. I have useful knowledge of the past. I’m also more hopeful because I remember when it was worse; young women are crazy as hell because it should be better – and both things are true so we help each other.
The Glories will be released on September 30 on Digital and Streaming Exclusive on Prime Video. Watch the trailer:
Photo: Lorraine Toussaint (as Flo Kennedy) and Julianne Moore (as Gloria Steinem) in THE GLORIAS; Photo credit: Dan McFadden
Courtesy of LD Entertainment and Roads Attractions