December 13, 2016
Gloria Steinem has blue jeans that are older than her feminist protégées
by Taylor Sperry
On January 17, Melville House will publish What We Do Now, a collection of pieces by leading progressive activists that attempts to help readers prepare for and respond to the incoming administration. It’s also meant to give people some hope, to offer a meaningful sense of solidarity.
The list of contributors is one that we’re proud of, and it includes a combination of names you’ll recognize and others you won’t, but among the most prominent of the former is surely the great activist Gloria Steinem.
Not only was she generous enough to write something for our volume, she’s continued to signal elsewhere, too, that she’s going to keep fighting the good fight (and so should we). In a moving conversation with Joanna Walters for The Guardian, Steinem, who is now eighty-two, said, “I’m going to live to 100. I’m never going to retire.”
Mostly she talked about, if not passing the torch, then “using it to light other people’s torches — and I’m finding they don’t need me.”
In particular she calls out Ai-Jen Poo, the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and the three co-founders of Black Lives Matter—Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi—as important leaders of this “new burst of feminist energy.”
“I had to wait for some of my friends to be born,” she said, “but they are there and they’re younger than my blue jeans.”
Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.