Journalist, fighter and feminist, Gloria Steinem became a women’s rights icon during the 60s and is now the subject of Julie Taymor’s biopic, The Glorias (learn 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 at various stages of her life. Steinem, 86, talked to Senior Planet in the days following the death of her friend and fellow women’s rights pioneer, Ruth Bader Ginsberg:
SP: How are you feeling the loss of RBG?
Gloria: 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 because she had kept on conquering her health challenges.
SP: What are your fondest memories of her?
Gloria: So many. We were only a year apart in age and first met when she was at the ACLU where she founded the Women’s Project. Ruth was there before the movement; she was a one-woman movement. Once I was lucky enough to have tea with her at her chambers at the Supreme Court.
SP: Why do you feel The Glorias is still relevant today?
Gloria: The individual viewer should judge that but the struggle of diverse women to be human beings goes on as the MeToo movement, as safety against sexual assault on campus. It’s in every country in the world…we have advanced a great deal but we are still not in a place where gender and race and class are not dominating our lives.
SP: How far do you think the womens movement has progressed since the 60s?
Gloria: Back then we didn’t have Equal Pay legislation or even the idea of Equal Pay. Men were still stuck on the idea that women were taking men’s jobs away. Now we at least have legislation, but we’re nowhere near the reality of 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, that would be a huge economic revolution and also a human revolution because men would develop their so-called feminine qualities – which are not feminine at all, of course, but just human – of connection, empathy, caring and attention to detail, in the same way that women are also developing our so-called masculine qualities for being in the paid 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?
Gloria: I was so moved that they wanted to do it and was also very touched by the portrayal 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 didn’t matter because he loved me and treated me as a buddy.
SP: What’s your secret to aging with attitude?
Gloria: That’s a great phrase! There’s no real secret, you are always the unique self that got born into this world, you just keep adding experiences. I’m often with younger women, so I imagine that keeps me young. Earlier in my life I was often the youngest person in the group – now I’m the oldest. I have useful knowledge of the past. I’m also more hopeful because I remember when it was worse; young women are mad as hell because it should be better – and both things are true so we help each other.
The Glorias releases on September 30th on Digital and Streaming Exclusively 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 Roadside Attractions