Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Notes of Gloria Steinem's talk tonight at MCLA in

Notes of Gloria Steinem's talk tonight at MCLA in North Adams tonight.

-- Talks about how important it is to get together in face to face encounters like this

talks about the tragedy of student debt
-- Steps of movements . . . . Consciousness , organizing transforming
-- redefine what work is. Household work is a third of what goes on in the nation and it is not counted as having economic value
-- question hierarchy, individual differences are bigger than group differences / time to dispense with old categories and see new connections
-- Domestic violence didn't exist when she was growing up / no name for it. Better now to call it original violence / it is replicated outside the home.
-- not about biology / we just not have been born or raised to have our masculinity proved / but it is not about a group or category, if is about individuals. Understanding that is when the transformation happens.
-- Countries which tolerate violence against women normalize dominance and are more violent in many other ways.
-- Native American women were part of all decision making processes.
-- Europeans Invented racism to make it OK to conquer other people.
-- Declare this last recent period as one which failed -- patriarchal, monotheistic, etc.
-- See uniqueness and community
-- It's going to take men raising children as much as women -- patience, compassion, sympathy etc. Men are deprived too.
-- Think of it as a full circle of uniqueness. Get back to a pre-national world / we must be multinational. Boundaries are artificial / nature doesn't make straight lines
-- Most dangerous time to escape a violent household is right before and right after because it is about control.
-- Terrific thing that we will soon not be a majority white or European country.
-- We as a nation are escaping old structures so it is a time of maximum danger also. We are going to keep going.
-- If one butterfly's wing can change the weather think what we can do here. It is a time of transformation.

Questions and answers:

-- She's on the road all the time but trying to get a book done. "I'm hoping to restore interest in this thing called organizing."
-- Average age of women in media much younger than men.
-- Women's movement has never been a white women's movement. It's not possible to be a feminist without being anti racist. You can't uproot one without uprooting the other.
-- Rather than predict the future focus on making the present better.
-- Questioner observes audience "looks like an AARP meeting; is worried about bad law at the state level.
-- Berkshire Festival of a Women Writers / what happens when a woman finds her voice? Food, health, wellbeing.
-- Distinction between religion and spirituality. It gives us a feeling of what people in many religions are trying to do.
-- what are the institutions of our life really saying? She compares the church altar to the womb
-- Discussion about why the radical right appeals to some women.
-- recommends Women's Media Center website . Only 3 percent of people in news assigning positions are women. But the media are not reality but they can fool us into thinking something is the norm and that changes the reality. The media is our campfire and so if controls the story.
-- We can pressure the media by not buying the product -- and by making our own campfires.
-- if we are isolated we may feel some / meet with a group of kindred spirits at least once a week. We need a worldwide feminist AA -- small, leaderless, free. Make sure that is part of your lives -- people who you can speak honestly with -- that is do much more important than any label can be.

Bill Densmore
Williamstown, Mass.
Off: 413-458-8001 / m: 617-448-6600


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