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Advice

Gloria Steinem Says the Future of Feminism Is About Girls and Boys

May 5, 2016

And why the icon never wanted to be a public speaker

Activist and author Gloria Steinem spoke to Motto on Wednesday about how she sees the future of feminism at a screening of part of her new documentary series, WOMAN. “That’s like being asked to describe the universe in two sentences!” she said.

“The future is each of us finding our voices to say what’s happening to us and what isn’t fair. The voice of feminism is every little girl in the world and boy who says two things. One: It’s not fair. And two: You’re not the boss of me.”

WOMAN, which Steinem created with Viceland network, follows stories of violence against women around the world, ranging from rape in the Congo to incarcerated women in the United States. In a Q&A session, she said about the series, “It is the closest thing I know to being there.”

When another reporter asked why Steinem decided to tell these stories through a TV series rather than in her normal outlets of writing and speaking, Steinem drew on her beginnings as an activist. “I started out as a writer, and I was very clear about one thing: I would never speak in public. Then I could never get published. … Only in despair, out of no other way to talk about the women’s movement, did I go and begin to speak. And in that way did I discover that as much as I love the printed page and books—and I do!—that it’s not the same as being in a room together.”

WOMAN premieres on Viceland on May 10 at 10 p.m.