Media

Of Course Gloria Steinem Was Sexually Harassed

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Feminist activist Gloria Steinem was a young journalist starting out in Manhattan when it happened to her. In the glare of Harvey Weinstein‘s now infamous potted plant scene, everyone’s talking.

In the ’60s and ’70s, Steinem was a columnist for New York mag and co-founded Ms. magazine.

Elle reports that it happened in the 1960s when she delivered her story to a “prominent” New York editor, who gave her an offer: “Either I could mail his letters on the way out, or I could go to a hotel room with him in the afternoon.”

“Steinem bolted. And then she warned every woman she knew.”

In another instance, she wanted to pitch a story to an editor, who told her, “We don’t want a pretty girl. We want a writer. Go home.”

Some highlights:

Has she missed out on professional opportunities because she resisted or spoke out, like those who have spoken about Weinstein? 

“I have been, yes, but the good thing about being a freelance writer is that no one can fire you permanently. I’ve been able to say just, ‘Fuck you.’ Or, ‘I’m not doing it.'”

Can the U.S. elect a female president? 

“I think we could, sure…There’s tons of women, an obvious one is [Sen. Kirsten] Gillibrand. She’s an obvious person. She’s our representative! She’s very gifted as an explainer of complex issues in terms that we all understand. She’s authentic. She’s courageous. She’s stood up for sexual harassment in the military and on campus. She would be a good candidate. Maxine Waters would have been, too, but she was too early. That’s how it is.”

Hugh Hefner was ‘a jerk’ 

“Hugh Hefner — what a jerk he was. Sure, he advocated for birth control and abortion, and we know why, don’t we? He was the least secure person. He was hopeless. I think that’s the great secret of men like Hugh Hefner. They’re insecure because they’re made to feel they must dominate, and nobody can dominate all the time, so naturally they’re insecure.”

See the whole piece.