Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Gloria Steinem, In Her Own Words
Aired February 3, 2013 - 19:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It gives me great pleasure to present to you Gloria Steinem.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are we going to win? Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gloria Steinem is one of those women who once noticed isn't easily forgotten.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are meant to feel we are nothing unless we are standing beside a man.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some women are becoming more militant and their organizations are grouped in a kind of federation called women's liberation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These women are not kidding. They are deadly serious. What they are demanding is a greater share in the political power of this nation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Females are supposed to stay home and have kids and keep the house clean.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like being treated as a lady. I like having a man hold my coat, open the door for me, all the little things that I think are important to a woman.
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY, STOP-ERA: Sure, the women's Libers are sincere, the homosexuals are sincere, but they want to change the supreme law of our land.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What we are talking about is a revolution and not a reform.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gloria Steinem is the most visible symbol of the woman's movement.
GLORIA STEINEM, AMERICAN FEMINIST: You understand it's not a role exchange. We're not trying to do to men what men have done to us. We're trying to humanize both roles.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every generation has its names.
STEINEM: More than a third of this march are women under 25 years old.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People who empower other people.
STEINEM: Susan B. Anthony said our job is not to make young women grateful, it's to make them ungrateful. So they keep going. We're not going to stop.
Well, a feminist is what the dictionary says which is a person, male or female, who believes in the full social, economic, political equality of women and men, and I would say also act on it.
When I first came to New York and tried to get an apartment, I discovered that landlords felt single women were not financially responsible, and if you could earn enough, you must be a hooker.
The first year I freelanced, I spent a lot of time sleeping on the living room floors of my friends. I think that back then I'm not sure I knew what feminism was. I mean, you know, I had had one sentence in my textbook somewhere in the past that said women were given the vote. I thought it was all finished, it was all won, and if I was still having a lot of difficulty, it must be my personal fault.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Honey, when was the last time you baked a cake?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Last week, dear.
STEINEM: When I was growing up, we thought the position of women was biologically dictated.
And so, we didn't feel we had the right to be equal or to be angry.
It was the '50s, and the women in college were still being educated to be mothers and the wives of executives and so on. And we were not learning about anything that had to do with women's own status in society.
As a journalist, I wanted to write about what I was interested in, and that was politics. But there weren't so many women who were political reporters then, pretty few really. I wrote some unsigned pieces, what to do on dates in New York and how to cook without really cooking for men. I mean, you know, all kinds of frivolous but funny things. And then I did this bunny assignment.
HUGH HEFNER, PUBLISHER, "PLAYBOY": My name is Hugh Hefner and I'm for publisher of "Playboy" magazine.
STEINEM: I worked as an Playboy bunny in order to write an expose of what the working stations were.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I started with a personal investment of $600. In eight years I built an empire worth $20 million.
STEINEM: It was being presented as a glamorous place. It was not the glamorous place that Hugh Hefner was trying to sell it as.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were a bunny girl for a while, an undercover bunny girl. STEINEM: Yes, yes. I went to write a story, I changed my name and went -- I thought I would get through, you know, a few auditions and write about the auditions but they were so desperate for people it kept going on and on and I ended up working off and on for about a month.
I read all the ads, you know, that you were supposed to get $300 a week and it was this wonderful job. I was hired but I had to go through the training course which is at your own expense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reverse. There we go. Fast, fast. OK. A real high carry. Whoops, there we go.
STEINEM: It was horrible. There was nothing fun about it. It's really hard work. You know, you're carrying trays. You have three- inch high hills on. You're paid very little. The trays are heavy. Your feet hurt.
I learned what it's like to be hung on a meat hook. That's essentially the emotional experience of walking around in a costume that's so tight it would give a man a cleavage.
The response to the article was amazing because the club was new then, and it was kind of blowing the whistle on the glamour of the club. I regretted for many years having done it because it made me unserious, but as feminism began to dawn on my brain belatedly in life, I became glad I did it.
I didn't exactly consciously know that I didn't want to get married. I just knew I didn't want to get married right then.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you ever been married?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's all?
STEINEM: Yes. Well, next question. Why not?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not?
STEINEM: I don't know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to be?
STEINEM: Eventually, but it keeps receding two years in the comfortable distance.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think about it a lot?
STEINEM: Yes, I think so. I think you imagine what it would be like to be married to people you're going out with or people you meet. Even if it's only for a second, think about it. Don't you think about it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. STEINEM: You don't? Maybe it's a ladies thing. I don't know.
People ask me why I'm not married. I just say I can't be in captivity. I somehow totally related to the character in breakfast at tiffany's.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Looking at me like that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love you, you belong to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, people don't belong to people.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course they do.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'll never let anyone put me in a cage.
STEINEM: I really identified with Holly Golytely (ph). The streaked hair I can directly attribute to "breakfast at tiffany's." The aviator glasses were more about hiding. The bigger they were the more I felt like I could hide behind them.
I came to New York, you know, full of idealism and wanting to write serious assignments, but as a freelance writer I was assigned things about fashion and food and makeup and babies or the low point of my life, writing about textured stockings.
When I delivered a piece to my editor at the Sunday times magazine, he generally gave me a choice like either I could go to a hotel room with him in the afternoon or mail his letters on the way out. There was no word for sexual harassment. It was just called life. So you had to find your own individual way around it.
At a certain point in my 30s, I discovered that other women were saying this kind of thing, too, and the women's movement was just beginning, and I finally knew that I wasn't alone, you know. That I wasn't crazy. The system was crazy.
The idea that I had a glamorous life came in part at least from the idea that if you were a pretty girl, whatever that meant, that you must be getting assignments for that reason or if you were ever photographed at a party; that was your whole persona. You couldn't also be serious. So it did drive me crazy, you know, to be viewed in that way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women make up 51 percent of the nation's population. Are they in effect an oppressed majority? Feminist leaders charge widespread discrimination. Discrimination that keeps a woman from having an abortion if she wants it.
STEINEM: I went as a journalist to cover a hearing at which women were standing up and telling their abortion experiences.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women are not going to sit quietly any longer. You are murdering us. STEINEM: I had had an abortion when I first graduated from college. I was 22, and there was no women's movement then. There was no companionship. So I never told anybody.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Will you please sit down or be removed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're not going to sit down.
STEINEM: And I listened to these women testify about all that they had to go through.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Treated like a common criminal.
STEINEM: The injury, the danger, the infection, the sexual humiliation, you know, to get an illegal abortion, and I suddenly realized why is it a secret? You know if one in three women has need an abortion in her lifetime in this country, why is it a secret? And why is it criminal? And why is it dangerous?
And that was the big click. It transformed me, and I began to seek out everything I could find of what was then the burgeoning women's movement.
When the women's movement started, I was the in-between person. I was neither the mother nor the daughter. I was in between. And perhaps that was helpful.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What sort of a reaction have you encountered from men or from women since you have led it be known that you're active in the woman's rights movement?
STEINEM: Well, it's interesting. It's extreme, I think, in both directions. I mean, I now attract at any kind of gathering men who are very hostile to this movement. But the most touching response is from women. Because it's like it pours out, all the frustrations and humiliations. You know, I don't think I'd ever felt part of a group before.
CHET HUNTLEY, NBC REPORTER: Today throughout the land there is a growing demand by some women that society begin to treat them as men, different from men but equal to them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most of this restaurant in Chicago is open to women. But a small part is set aside for men who want to have a quick lunch by themselves.
STEINEM: The Berghoff is a restaurant which women have been breaking the barriers in are to us what the lunch counters were to the black movement. That's very serious and important.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't want to be intimidated by sign that is say men's buffet. Would you like a sign up there that said blacks only or whites only? It's the same principles. Women are persons. Women are people. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no intentions of taking the sign down or changing the sign. If you can get a court order to take it down, fine.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have no intention of changing your policy of segregated facilities. Is that correct, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you women are that hard up for a glass of beer, I'd be glad to serve you at the bar.
WALTER CRONKITE, CBS REPORTER: Women are organizing themselves, demanding of oppression, demanding the same rights men have and even talking of revolution. It's the blossoming of the feminist movement.
NORMA QUARLES, NBC REPORTER: A woman can be a success in the business world, but it takes an exceptional woman and she will be fighting men's prejudices all the way.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women went to work in this country shortly before the turn of the century. Companies found they had no trouble adjusting to the dull, tedious jobs that men didn't want. Today most women are still at the same tedious jobs and they earn only half of what men earn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Women can't handle the responsibility that most men assume.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most women I think have a problem with concentration.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A woman's place is more in the home.
HOWARD SMITH, ABC REPORTER: Theoretically August the 26th next could be an awful day for American males. That is the 50th anniversary of women's suffrage and to celebrate it the women's liberation movement proposes a nationwide strike.
STEINEM: It was the first time in my life, and I think for many other women, too, that we marched for ourselves.
BETTY FRIEDAN, CO-FOUNDER, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN: March down Fifth Avenue. (INAUDIBLE), peacefully, non-violently.
STEINEM: I have no children. I'm not here as someone who needs a daycare center or who understood the need for daycare centers until about three months ago when I was writing about the west 80th street daycare centers. It was then that I began to realize --
I remember when I got so frustrated with an inability to publish anything much about the movement that I actually started to go out and speak.
Suffer from too much mothers and too little fathers.
So I went with my speaking partner, Dorothy Pitman, who was an African-American woman, and wherever we went was just astounding that there would be these huge crowds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously women's liberation is a big thing with you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And something, you know, that I would certainly like to incorporate --
STEINEM: But this isn't writing an essay and looking into a camera and reading it.
I started to speak into public regularly. And it just began on the subject of women I thought I could explain it and make an emotional connection with an audience that perhaps, you know, was rare among speakers on the subject.
Women really do have a community of interest because we are relegated to menial and dehumanized positions simply because we are women.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Atlantic City boardwalk, young women from New York and from as far away as Bancroft, Iowa, all members of the women's liberation movement, and what are they liberating themselves from? Brassieres and high heels. Female appurtenances they think mark them as women who accept an ideal of femininity dictated by men.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Use your brains, not your bodies.
STEINEM: In the beginning of the movement in the late '60s and early '70s, it was mostly treated with ridicule and so on, but once it started to really change the mainstream of the culture, it became a threat.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It sounds like a demand for sameness, and that is abhorrent. To me, American cities compared to those in Europe, create a relatively dull scene. But when American women adapted the mini skirt this way meant for woman, it was the biggest advance in urban beautification since Central Park was created in Manhattan.
STEINEM: People say to me now, are you not upset sometimes when the press is hostile. And I always say to myself, well, hostility is a step forward from the ridicule that we started out with.
GARRY MOORE, AMERICAN RADIO: Gloria Steinem was an extremely attractive woman, but most of the women I see in the women's liberation movement frankly couldn't lure me out of a burning building.
STEINEM: There's a completely false image of feminists being super serious and anti-sexual and anti-humorists. And you know, it's crazy, but that's how suffragists came to me, too as this boring sexless creatures.
To do that is one way to stop the movement. So, perhaps, because I was, obviously, publicly none of those things, you know, I was leading what seemed to me an adventurous sexual life and doing all these diverse things, maybe I helped to break a false stereotype.
I did, I did. But I quit just in time. Law against tap dancing. Tap dancing joggles the brain and makes you conservative. Shirley Temple, Don Murphy, Charlotte O'Connor. There are more. I got out just in time. I hope not.
Tap dancing was the extremely impractical way I was going to get out of Toledo. I could dance a little bit, so it was going to be my ticket out.
For all little girls, I think, like for boys in poor neighborhoods who look at sports, you know, show business was the way we were going to get out. I still dance in elevators when the music is on and nobody's watching.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN SAYWELL, CBC REPORTER: Gloria Steinem, you should know her. She's written for most major magazines. These days she's working for "New York Magazine." New York, not the "New Yorker". And the work she's doing is causing quite a commotion. She is very good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What kind of girl is she? It seems like a real bitch. Oh, she must be very aggressive and pushy, you know, they have these whole preconceived ideas of girl who gets to where Gloria is in life, what one has to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEINEM: Makes me sad because of the bitch part. I mean, that really gets to me. I guess maybe it's worse than I think. I mean, I don't hear those comments, but what I've come to understand lately is it's not always personal. It's all women come in for this kind of stuff. If you don't play your role, you know, if you dare to aspire to something, then you get it automatically.
In the early '70s, "Esquire" printed a piece, and it was attacking me in the text of the piece. In a cartoon, too. This piece just seemed to take everything I'd ever done and make it seem as if it was all about ambition or selfish, as if I glommed on to movements insincerely.
That article in "Esquire" was certainly among one of the most humiliating. I must have been skinned, I go back and forth all the time on it. I immediately decide to withdraw and never leave my house again. Then alternately decide to fight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your original assumption is that Steinem, indeed all women, could not succeed on the basis of simple talent, intelligence, ambition, and hard work. "Esquire" indulged in the cheapest kind of kiss-and-tell journalism. STEINEM: I remember the press conference. The defense the "Esquire" piece. I especially remember Flo Kennedy, who was a great defender to have, funny, outrageous.
FLO KENNEDY, FOUNDER, FEMINIST PARTY: After you do something to us that we do not like in the media, you know, we take care of whatever part of your anatomy seems to need taken care of.
STEINEM: I finally read the "Esquire" article. The issue was very much larger than one small article. The issue is, the whole way in which non-establishment people are treated in the press. As a member of it, I feel very responsible for it.
The "Esquire" article made me cry because it was just so wrong and cruel, really. I realized as a journalist that there really was nothing for women to read that was controlled by women, and this caused me, along with a number of other women, to start "Ms." magazine.
We had many meetings about starting the magazine here in this apartment. We were going to call it "Sojourner" after "Sojourner Truth," but that was perceived as a travel magazine. Then we were going to call it "Sisters," but was seen as a religious magazine. We settled on "Ms." because it was symbolic and also it was short, which is good for a logo.
It's definitely an old term as an abbreviation for mistress. We didn't invent it, but clearly it was exact parallel of Mister and it had a great obvious political use.
GREGORY JOHNSON, REPORTER: All revolutions, it seems, start with a typewriter in crowded rooms over a bar. And the New York headquarters of the magazine "Ms." is no different. It's a magazine designed to serve as a forum for the women's movement. Something the leaders characterized as not a reform, but a revolution.
STEINEM: Welcome to chaos.
JOHNSON: Gloria Steinem is the editor. It's disquieting to her, but nonetheless still hard to say whether she's attracted so much attention because of what she's done, what she says, or how she looks. Miss Steinem will be 38 on her next birthday.
STEINEM: The idea of a feminist magazine seemed crazy to people. It was chaotic and scary. We were afraid that we would not succeed, that we would disgrace the movement.
JOHNSON: Many knowledgeable sources in media circles have predicted "Ms." won't last six issues, but others point out it's mostly men making those predictions.
HARRY REASONER, ABC COMMENTATOR: The first edition of "Ms.", described as a new magazine for women, is at hand, and it's pretty sad.
STEINEM: Harry Reasoner predicted that "Ms." magazine could not possibly last because wed said everything there was to say in the first issue.
REASONER: I can imagine some stark, head-eye, sexist editorial meeting trying to decide what to do next. After you've got marriage contracts, role exchanging, and the female identity crisis, what do you do?
As I said, it's sad, because not even the most Neanderthal of us like predictability. I suppose to these ladies the most patronizing thing you can say is, I'm sorry. But, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
STEINEM: It sold out. Hugely in just about a week. It was supposed to be on the newsstands for three months. It sold out in a week.
The reason why "Ms." magazine is called Ms. is because women's marital status doesn't matter any more than men's does. Since I'm gigantically uninterested in your marital status I don't see any reason to exchange that information for what you might tell me.
DAN RATHER, CBS NEWS: Some have taken to not addressing women by Miss or Mrs., but they've gone to the Miss, Ms., why not do that with White House letters?
RICHARD NIXON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I guess I'm a little old fashioned, but I'd rather prefer the miss or Mrs.
He asked a silly goddamn question about "Ms.," you know what I mean? Mr. Or Miss, how many people really have read Gloria Steinem and give one shit about that? You know what I mean? That's a silly thing.
STEINEM: The less secure the mail, the more he has to prove, the more dangerous a leader, witness Richard Nixon. There is some opinion that Richard Nixon is the most sexually insecure chief of state since Napoleon.
Somebody once said that a woman a man most fears is the woman inside himself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doesn't Henry Kissinger more than compensate for President Nixon's sexual insecurity?
STEINEM: That's like, are you still beating your wife? Anything I say is impossible.
We were photographed together. Since Kissinger was, I think, pretty much the only unmarried person in the Nixon administration, somebody from "The New York Times" called me up and asked me about it.
HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: This week, Gloria Steinem, almost unbelievably to me, is voted as having said that she is not now and never has been a girlfriend of Henry Kissinger. But I would like to tell you, I'm not discouraged.
STEINEM: People think being pretty or beautiful solves everything, which, of course, it doesn't. The hard part, for me, I must say the painful part, is I work really hard, and then the result is attributed to looks. That's -- it's really painful, and you would think at 76 that would go away, but it's still there sometimes.
You know, there's a saying now, we are becoming the men we wanted to marry.
HELEN GURLEY BROWN, COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE: That's wonderful.
STEINEM: Yes, and it's very true. And I would go out with very nice people, writers, because I wanted to be a writer. Do their research, see their friends and wonder why I came to resent them later on. It wasn't their fault. They weren't telling me to do that, but society and all my training was telling me to do that.
BROWN: I have known, personally, about 10 men who were all the way in love with you or part of the way in love with you. It's never anything --
STEINEM: Some of them were not telling the truth, I'm counting.
BROWN: It's never anything you've paid much attention to, is it?
STEINEM: No, no --
BROWN: I paid great attention to get men to be in love.
STEINEM: Of course. Of course.
BROWN: But I wasn't --
STEINEM: And I did, too. It's the way --
BROWN: Did you?
STEINEM: Of course. Women show our power by getting men to fall in love with us.
Probably partly because my father was a nice guy, I don't think I was ever really attracted to cruel or difficult men, which is a big thing. I mean, I was very lucky. My father was a charming, kind, lovely man. And he was a completely irresponsible guy, who was always in debt.
My mother was a pioneer in journalism before I was born. But she just couldn't make it all work together, you know, to be the perfect wife and mother and to have a pioneering career at the same time. She had what was then called a nervous breakdown, which made it difficult for her to keep her newspaper job. She just couldn't function. And she would always leave the radio on as the only sound in the apartment.
She was always lying on the couch with her eyes closed, kind of talking to people in another realm. I couldn't allow myself to feel what she was feeling, so in many ways, she became someone to take care of more than she was my mother, and I got to be very good at learning how to detach. It was extremely depressing and scary, very scary, to be a child taking care of an adult is very, very scary.
My father was long divorced from my mother when he'd been in a car accident in Orange County in California. I should have gone right away. But, I think, the deep part of me feared that if I went, I would never come back, that I would end up caring for him, you know, as I had for my mother when I was little. So he died alone and I regret that so much. I really regret that.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. Here's a look at your headlines.
A killing at a gun range and everybody involved, the alleged shooter and the victims, all military men. One of the dead is well known former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. He described himself as the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. Here's where Kyle and another man died yesterday. A gun range outside Fort Worth, Texas. Police say a third man shot them both dead. The suspect is in custody now.
In Alabama, officials say the man holding a boy hostage in an underground bunker is allowing the delivery of potato chips, toys, and medicine. Police say 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes grabbed the autistic 5-year-old from a school bus Tuesday after fatally shooting the driver who was trying to shield the children. Funeral services for that driver were held today.
Tomorrow in Manhattan, New York City will say good-bye to its three- term mayor, Ed Koch. Koch died early Friday of congestive hear failure. A who's who of New York political power is expected to attend the funeral. Former President Bill Clinton will give a tribute and current Mayor Mike Bloomberg will give the eulogy. Ed Koch was 88 years old.
Can Wall Street hold on to Friday's momentum when it's -- when it opens on Monday morning? The Dow will start the trading day above 14000 for the first time in five years, but that could be threatened by what are expected to be weak factory orders due out this week. In addition, the Consumer Credit Report comes out on Thursday, along with earnings reports from Sony, Nextel, Sprint, and AOL.
Those are your headlines this hour. I'm Don Lemon. I'm not lip- synching. Back to "GLORIA: IN HER OWN WORDS" in a moment.
STEINEM: In the '70s it was heady and exciting and naive, you know, because we thought these injustices are so great, surely, if we just explain them to people, they will want to fix them.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The delegates include some of the best-known leaders of the women's movement. The image of what goes on here as conveyed by the press is important for both sides as they battle for public attention. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have paid no attention to us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are in the middle of doing something.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are asking why these women have been treated --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut up for one minute.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you dare talk to us like that?
STEINEM: Sometimes the only way you can get attention to the problem, you know, is to freak out people, as they say, to dramatize it that way. You have to break the form. You have to stop playing the game in order to change the content.
KENNEDY: And we support you with our dollars, brother. So don't get smart or we'll fire you.
STEINEM: Flo Kennedy was outrageous. There's such huge punishment in the culture for an angry woman.
KENNEDY: What the hell are you taking off your equipment for? CBS has (INAUDIBLE). Don't touch me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't touch me.
KENNEDY: Get your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) hands off me. God damn it. Don't touch me.
STEINEM: Sometimes what only an obscenity will really say it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The media, these are the people responsible for what has happened to women in this country.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: This is where it all begins. The 36th Democratic National Convention. Tonight, one out of every three delegates down there will be a woman.
STEINEM: Nobody hands you equality, you know, there's a myth in this country that women were given the vote. Women went to jail, demonstrated, and generally made such total nuisances of themselves, so if we weren't given it, we took it.
Make history know that this was a different convention.
REP. BELLA S. ABZUG (D), NEW YORK: Next time they'll be discussing, should a woman run for president? Can a woman run for vice president? It won't even be a should or a can, it will be a very natural thing.
STEINEM: Bella Abzug was such an extraordinarily valuable person, it's really hard to describe. And she was wonderfully comforting in strange ways. I mean, I don't know if this makes sense, but one of the things that happened that actually did get to me was that a pornographer put a big poster of me nude right outside the "Ms." offices and a big sign that said pin the -- the feminist. Bella Abzug said, what's wrong, and I told her. And she was not impressed at all.
You know, when I said, but Bella, you know, you don't understand, that there is, you know, a drawing of me in full labial detail and there are all these, you know, penises down the side and has my hair and my glasses, and she said, and my labia.
And somehow she made me laugh so hard that it was OK after that.
We've been much too law-abiding and too docile for too long, but I think that period is about over, so I only want to remind you and me tonight that what we are talking about is a revolution and not a reform.
BETTY FRIEDAN, CO-FOUND, NOW: I think we have to be responsibly aware that there are more than one voice in this movement, that there is a difference between me and Gloria Steinem, on the other hand.
STEINEM: In the early '70s, Betty Friedan gave a statement of some kind to the press saying that "Ms." was profiteering off the women's movement.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It was following a luncheon at the new Democratic coalition that we were finally able to ask Betty Friedan about the comment.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You're the one who made the statement in a speech and --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is she just working the movement for personal profit?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Miss Friedan would neither confirm nor deny the statement about Gloria Steinem.
STEINEM: I really questioned very much that Betty said that because it's so inaccurate and we've had so many discussions about exactly this, that I really question it. So I'm replying only to the statement as reported, not to Betty.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you plan to have other things to say about --
FRIEDAN: No. No, no, no, no.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you sorry you made the statement yesterday?
FRIEDAN: I have no comment. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you think it will put a serious dent in the movement?
FRIEDAN: No, of course not.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What's wrong with Gloria Steinem?
FRIEDAN: I don't think there's anything that's wrong with Gloria Steinem as a person, or if there is, it isn't my business to say so.
STEINEM: Really anybody who threatened her ownership of the movement came in for this. The movement was hers. She was the mother of the movement, but then to turn around and find all these people trailing along, lesbians coming along, women on welfare, she didn't really identify down, she identified up. And since I was part, in her view, of the group that was advocating this other identifying down, I'm sure that I was not welcome.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Miss Steinem, may I ask you a question, you made a speech before the National Press Club this year, and you said, and I quote, "Women are not taken seriously, we are undervalued, ridiculed, or ignored by society, which consciously and unconsciously assumes that the white male is the standard and the norm."
Now what's your explanation for the serious state of affairs in view of the fact that men -- males are at least virtually controlled and dominated by women from birth to puberty and often beyond that? Why haven't you done a better job, if you're as smart as you say you are?
STEINEM: Well, that's your statement, not mine, that men are virtually controlled by women from birth onward, so I wouldn't accept the premise of that statement.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Well, haven't you had an opportunity to brainwash the male during those early formative years? Why doesn't she do it?
STEINEM: Well, the -- I think it's beginning to change, not to brainwash, but to be objective for a change and to eliminate the sex and the race stereotypes.
I've just never felt compelled in any way to have children, and I don't have any regrets. I was obsessed with the magazine. That was my child, which it still is, actually.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: When "Ms." magazine got going in 1972, other magazines, new and old, were sinking fast, but "Ms." made it. Only seven months after starting in the black.
REASONER: I humbly admit that I was wrong when I predicted that "Ms.," the magazine of women's liberation, would fold after five or fewer issues. "Ms." has every right to feel proud.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: "Ms." has been added to the U.S. government list of acceptable prefixes. "Ms.," says the government, is, quote, "an optional female title without marital designation. " (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
STEINEM: I'm always reminded of a quote which did not come from me, as is sometimes said, if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.
ABZUG: We regard abortion as a method of last resort in birth control, but we say with equal fervor that it is a method which must be freely available to all who need it, for whatever reason.
STEINEM: This wave of the women's movement established reproductive freedom as a basic right like freedom of speech or freedom of assembly.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court today legalized abortions. The majority of cases from Texas and Georgia said that the decision to end a pregnancy during the first three months belongs to the woman and her doctor, not the government.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: In 1975, "TIME's" man of the year is 12 women, but this cover, while rated by some feminist leaders by Gloria Steinem as a net-plus for women, is being criticized by others, who say "TIME's" implication is that 12 women are equal to one man.
STEINEM: The point is that we go forward. We are nowhere near where we need to be.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: This morning, Houston turned upside down for more than 33,000 women and men of widely diverging views who came to participate or to protest the National Women's Conference, a presidentially appointed commission with a congressional mandate to examine women's rights.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A torch held high for feminists who have come to Houston. It is supposed to be a symbol of progress toward equality and of the unity they hope to create here. Three first ladies of the United States -- Betty Ford, Lady Bird Johnson and Rosalynn Carter -- stood on stage in agreement with that purpose.
STEINEM: I would say of all the big events I've experienced, it was the most underestimated. It was so important.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Forces opposing the women's movement over angling over such controversial proposals as lesbian rights will seriously wound the movement, while leaders of the conference are convinced they can win new friends for the movement.
STEINEM: The lesbian issue was serious. I mean, lesbianism was not really agreed upon or discrimination against lesbians as a feminist issue until 1977.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But all those in favor of the Sexual Preference Resolution, please rise.
STEINEM: Then everybody did vote and say, OK, this is a feminist issue. I was crying, all crying. I think of it as just so moving. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The delegates adopted an agenda that was pro- ERA, but also pro abortion and pro lesbian rights.
PROTESTERS: Equal pay, equal work. (INAUDIBLE) now. Equal pay, equal work.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: After years of internal squabbling over where the women's movement should be going, the leaders say passage of the Equal Rights Amendment is the single most important piece of unfinished business, that until the Constitution says women are equal to men, the women's movement cannot move forward.
STEINEM: If they want us to become the radicals that they fear we are, just let them stop the ERA and we will become those radicals. We are the women that our parents warned us about, and we are proud.
CAROL JENKINS, WNBC: Is your life much different from your mother's life?
STEINEM: I think she likes the idea that I'm a writer, because in a way it's a continuation of what she hoped to do, even though we never talked about it, it seems it happened by accident. I wish very much I could give her choices over again.
She was living with my sister in Washington, all the many years, you know, before she went into a nursing home. She was still with no support, no companionship, no nothing, and I so regret, you know, that I wasn't more of a companion to her.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Feminist Gloria Steinem is in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: She's been invited to Philadelphia to receive --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Gloria Steinem recently traveled --
STEINEM: I feared that I distanced myself, because I was trying so hard. I was so fearful of becoming her. My sister called me, and it was clear that my mother was, you know, on her last two days, I guess, you know, so I was sitting with my mother, and she kept saying that she wanted to go home. And so I -- as I remember so well, kind of lied to her one last time and said, I'll take you home. And then she just gradually stopped breathing.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A new book on the bestseller list is called "Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions." The book is written by Gloria Steinem.
BARBARA WALTERS: Look, this is very messy and I don't care if everybody sees the wires, but will you get up there and do a little time step?
STEINEM: Only if you sing.
WALTERS: I'll sing. (CROSSTALK)
WALTERS: We need a finale, we need a great finale.
STEINEM: This is it.
WALTERS: If you like her, send in your dollars.
GEORGE BURNS, ACTOR: Do you do a lot of this?
STEINEM: No, this is my first.
BURNS: Really? Aren't you nervous?
STEINEM: Very nervous.
The "Today" show asked me to interview George Burns, because they knew I was always imitating him.
BURNS: Do you want a cigar?
And yes but -- here's an imaginary cigar. You know, I've got to (INAUDIBLE) over that.
You're part of my life it or not, grew --
BURNS: Good. That's nice to be part of your life. What are you doing tonight?
STEINEM: Well, that may be up to you. Any advice for me?
BURNS: Well, when you go out with me tonight --
STEINEM: I'm too old for you.
BURNS: No, you're not. You're a pretty lady.
LEMON: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. Here's a look at your headlines this hour.
A killing at a gun range and everyone involved, the alleged shooter and the victims, are all former military men. One of the dead is well known former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. He described himself as the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history. Here's where Kyle and another man died yesterday. A gun range outside Fort Worth, Texas. Police say a third man shot them both dead. The suspect is in custody now.
In Alabama, officials say the man holding a boy hostage in an underground bunker is allowing the delivery of potato chips, toys, and medicine. Police say 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes grabbed the autistic 5-year-old from a school bus Tuesday after fatally shooting the driver who was trying to shield the children. Funeral services for that driver were held today.
The Boy Scouts of America could decide to lift its ban on gay members as soon as tomorrow. The group holds its executive meeting this week in Texas. Republican Governor Rick Perry of Texas says there's no reason to change the ban.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons, sexuality is not one of them. Never has been, it doesn't need to be.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Governor Perry, a former Eagle Scout, spoke yesterday before a statewide scout meeting.
Those are your headlines this hour, I'm Don Lemon. We return now to "GLORIA: IN HER OWN WORDS" in just a moment.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Tonight at the Waldorf, they are celebrating in the ballroom, Gloria Steinem. This is the day we wish her a happy 50th birthday.
PHIL DONAHUE, TV HOST: The revolution is playing the Waldorf.
STEINEM: Fifty was hard. Fifty was hard, because it was the end of something, the end of the central years of life, I suppose, and I treated it with defiance. I'm going to go right on doing everything I did before, so there. Aging doesn't scare me, death is another question. When I first got a diagnosis of breast cancer, I said to myself, so this is how it's going to end?
Now this was just a couple of days before I was supposed to substitute for Jane Pauley for a week on the "Today" show, which already made me nervous enough.
I had a tiny lump excised. I had radiation and no chemotherapy, so I was very, very lucky. But in a way it served a real purpose of making me a little bit more conscious of time.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Are you able to feel as strongly about all these issues today as you did when you first started out, when you first became -- STEINEM: Oh, much more. God, much more. Much, much more.
And it's a world view. Once you start looking at us all as human beings, you're no longer likely to accept economic differences and racial differences and ethnic differences. So you have to uproot racism and sexism at the same time, otherwise it just doesn't work.
The problem is, we are so accustomed and sometimes women as well as men, to hearing as natural 60/40 or 70/30 as a male/female relationship, that when we hear 50/50, we are threatened by it.
DONAHUE: What did you say about this? Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel this issue is kind of talked out.
STEINEM: What issue? What issue?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not that I don't agree with it, but I feel it's just talked out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there were four men up there talking about how we're going to take over and in four years we're going to run the country, would you women sit here and listen to that? And I think this is all been --
STEINEM: But that isn't what we're saying. That isn't what we're saying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I -- but this is the gist and I feel as a man --
STEINEM: But that isn't what we're saying. We are not talking about taking over, we're talking about 50/50.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Maybe you're not in particular, but being a man sitting in the audience, there's this little -- you know, let's go women.
DONAHUE: You feel like it's kind of a male bashing?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is there. It is there.
LARRY KING, TV HOST: Cleveland, Ohio, hello.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Gloria, I'm so excited to finally get to talk to you. I'll say it real quick, first of all, I really believe that your movement was a total failure, and I believe you could admit that wholeheartedly. You are one of the primary causes of the downfall of our beautiful American family and society today.
A couple of questions. I'd like to know if you're married.
STEINEM: No, I'm not married. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you have children.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you don't. Well, let me tell you, don't ever have children, lady.
KING: Your life is worse because Gloria is in existence?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right. I have said for the last 15 years that Gloria Steinem should rot in hell.
ARSENIO HALL, HOST, ARSENIO HALL SHOW: You remember that call?
STEINEM: Oh, how could I forget that call?
HALL: OK. Because I wrote it down. The quote was, "Gloria Steinem should rot in hell for what she started. And I was like -- it's -- I was just like, whoa, Cleveland. That shocked me. Do you get that a lot? Am I just naive? I thought women -- I thought you would be kind of, like, a hero to women, all women.
STEINEM: Well, no, mostly you get the good part, but being recognizable means you get the resentment, too.
I got to a place where I couldn't go forward in the old way. I was so, so, so exhausted. It was tough. It was tough. I was traveling all the time, you know, and I began to realize that if I went into a hotel room, they often leave the radio on, and I would always leap across the room and turn it off, because it was so depressing to me to hear that sound. Because the radio was the only sound in the apartment of my mother. And that had taken me all that time to connect it.
I didn't understand the degree to which my response was being magnetized by things that had happened to me before, so that was a huge leap forward, and I think that realization came out of being depressed.
There was a period of time in which the world was kind of black and white instead of in color, and out of that kind of hitting bottom, there were at least a couple of years there when I began to really look internally. "Revolution from Within" as a book is part of that, sort of the coming out of it.
Sometimes when I enter a familiar room or street, I think I see a past self walking toward me.
JAY SHADLER, ABC REPORTER: In a Manhattan studio, Steinem is recording excerpts from her new book, "Revolution from Within" which strips away any lingering mask of invisibility.
STEINEM: But lately I've begun to feel a tenderness, a welling of tears in the back of my throat when I see her.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Having set out to write a book on self esteem, Steinem discovered she had very little of it herself.
Cameras had been on Steinem's public romances for years. Such a leading feminist chooses a leading man, it's perfect crisp the gossip mill.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you need a man in your life to be happy?
STEINEM: Are you talking about sex or relationships?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A relationship.
STEINEM: What are you talking about --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Sure, let's talk about sex.
No, not now actually. Now at the moment, but that may change in 20 minutes, who knows. I mean --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Keep the cameras rolling here, please.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Gloria Steinem, it seems the most extraordinary book that you have written, simply because you seem somebody who really should have sorted out this self-esteem stuff long ago.
STEINEM: Well, I think it's probably almost impossible, you know, to sort out the self-esteem stuff. I was a neglected child, so I guess I didn't think I existed. And if you're treated badly, you come to feel you're a bad person, and to some extent, even a very good thing like being a social activist can be a drug, you know, that keeps you from going back and looking at yourself. You keep trying to fill up this emptiness, which, of course, can't be filled up with anything external.
I kept saying that I, you know, maybe you've got to find a way to get out of this. So it isn't going to take the toll it's taken. She said, how can I do that?
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: One of the country's most colorful and determined political characters has died. Bella Abzug was 77 when she died last night of complications from heart surgery. She was a member of Congress in the early 1970s. She was always ready to stir up an establishment that she said needed more women.
STEINEM: Bella Abzug always knew that women could do anything. She expanded all of us.
Over the years, I've introduced -- I've introduced Bella many times. I had to introduce her, because I was always an anticlimactic if I came after her, and I often said at the end of the introduction, I never want to live in a world without a Bella Abzug in it.
In many ways, she was the woman I wish I had had as a mother, though to say that always made her mad, because she always said, I'm not old enough to be your mother.
ANDERSON COOPER, ABC NEWS: Well, from the world's most unlikely bride files, feminist icon Gloria Steinem was married over the weekend.
STEINEM: Married at 66. I didn't tell anybody, I didn't ask anybody, I mean, you know, it was as much a shock to me as it was, apparently, to lots of other folks.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Steinem once said marriage made women semi- nonpersons. She married entrepreneur David Bale at the Oklahoma home of former Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller.
STEINEM: We loved each other. We wanted to be together.
He was kind of an irresistible force. It was the first time in my life, I think, since being a child, that I had been totally utterly in the present, and I think that that was a lot of the magnetism for me.
WALTERS: Hello there, nice to see you.
STEINEM: Is this great, or what?
WALTERS: This is just what you wanted. I know this is the first time that you have -- done an interview together, you must be thrilled. Greater love has no husband.
STEINEM: I know, I know. This is the ultimate test.
WALTERS: Some people might wonder how does David Bale keep from being Mr. Steinem?
DAVID BALE, GLORIA STEINEM'S HUSBAND: Oh, I don't mind at all.
WALTERS: You really don't?
WALTERS: No. Now I know you're secure. Most members say well, (INAUDIBLE).
BALE: I actually sometimes introduce myself as Mr. Steinem.
WALTERS: Do you really?
BALE: Yes. It's just fine, why not?
STEINEM: I get very upset. No, no, he's not Mr. Steinem. So it's reversed. If we compete about anything, it's who's going to take care of the other one, because we both grew up being caretakers.
David and I actually never got to the point of calling each other husband and wife. He became very ill after a couple of years. His illness was a brain lymphoma, and that was devastating. In a way, for me, it was going back to looking after my mother, but now I was an adult and I could do it, so it was as if life had given me a chance, you know, to live over a kind of experience.
I learned so much from his illness, which lasted a whole year, and from his dying. He was in a nursing home, and that's where he died. And it was, you know, the first year was awful. The first year was full of anniversaries, you know, everything is an anniversary.
GLENN BECK, TV HOST: Cranky feminist Gloria Steinem --
STEINEM: There has been a lot of effort to demonize the word "feminist."
BECK: Gloria Steinem, the '60s are over. Maybe you made sense when everybody was tripping, far out, man, LSD, rock on, but I think we're a little more clear headed these days, thank the lord almighty.
I think that being a feminist means that you see the world whole instead of half. It shouldn't need a name, and one day it won't.
Feminism starts out being very simple, starts out being the instinct of a little child who says it's not fair, and you are not the boss of me. It's something in us who knows that, right? And it ends up being a world view that questions hierarchy altogether.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Is feminism dead? By the looks of this march in Washington, D.C., last April, more than a million strong, it's alive and well and attracting a whole new following.
STEINEM: More than a third of this march is women under 25 years old.
If I had one piece of advice to give to young girls, I would say, do not listen to my advice, listen to the voice inside you and follow that. The primary thing is that they keep going. That's what's important. The kids have their own feminist heroes. I'm a different generation. The primary thing is not that they know who I am, but that they know who they are.
As I look back at something that happened 30 years ago and it seems quite recent, I have to realize that I may not be here 30 years from now. I've so loved being here. And I do hope to live to 100. I love it so much. I never want it to end.
LEMON: Hello, everyone, Don Lemon. Live here at the CNN world headquarters in Atlanta. The breaking news tonight: if you're watching the Super Bowl, you're not watching any action in the game. What you're seeing right now is darkness because the power has gone out at the Superdome down in New Orleans. It happened about 30 minutes ago, and as I keep one eye here on the game.
Again, there is no play going on now. Entergy, the power company, is saying there is a power outage. They're saying, though, that it s relegated specifically to the Superdome. They are saying power is on in the area around the Superdome, which we know is in the French Quarter, around the Bourbon Street area. The French Quarter a little bit further away from the Superdome.
But, again, we have been watching here. Some of the lights have been coming back on in the Superdome, but we have been watching. Play was interrupted just a short time ago. Just after the half-time show. A great half-time show with Beyonce.
Again, no power -- shouldn't say no power, but power interrupted. It was dark, pretty -- almost pitch black for a while and now the power is slowly going back on, apparently.