Gloria Steinem Shines Hopeful Light on Election Cycle

Gloria Steinem Shines Hopeful Light on Election Cycle

The presidential election is still two months away, but many are already exhausted by the 24-hours news cycle. “Part of our problem and our depression is [with technology] we now have the power of knowing everything,” said Gloria Steinem as she addressed a sold-out audience at the LBJ Auditorium Wednesday night. “This is not the first crisis of democracy … We’ve recovered before and we can recover again.”

Steinem—co-founder of Ms. Magazine, author, and feminist icon—visited campus to talk about this year’s election as part of the Plan II Liz Carpenter Lecture Series. More than 920 tickets for the lecture were snatched up online in less than a day, says Plan II Director Michael Stoff.

Steinem, a self-proclaimed “hopeaholic,” shared her optimistic view about America’s future, along with some pertinent advice. “We’re at a turning point for what we think of as America,” Steinem said, referencing the United States’ growing diversity. This election cycle has revealed backlash and fear against this change, she argues, but it has also exposed necessary truths, such as flaws in the media’s coverage of presidential candidates. “We are at a time of maximum danger because we are about to escape. We are not going to go back, but forward.”

The best way to ensure that is to vote, Steinem urges. “We must not only vote, but fight to vote,” she says. “The voting booth is truly the only place on Earth where the most powerful and the least powerful are equal.”

During a question-and-answer session, young women asked about the state of feminism today. “The more we emphasize what we all have to gain [from supporting feminism],” the better, Steinem says. Ultimately, she says, our society benefits from recognizing that we are all linked rather than ranked. “We share 98 percent of things as humans. Breaking us into categories is useless.”

Photo by Matt Valentine


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