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Posted in: Feminism

Published on Aug 10, 2018 by Phyllis Chesler

Written for Tablet Magazine

Our Gloria Steinem Problem

In the second of four excerpts from Phyllis Chesler’s ‘A Politically Incorrect Feminist,’ a little girl lost joins the party


When did I first meet Gloria Steinem? That’s lost in the mists of time. I was impressed by her 1964 exposé in Show magazine of a bunny’s life at the Playboy Club. However, that excellent piece sparked no movement, nor did it free Gloria from what I perceived as the tyranny of having to maintain a perfected female appearance.

Gloria has a “little girl lost” appeal about her that gets people to want to help and take care of her. It affected me that way too. She would sometimes look up at me with a trusting, even slightly helpless look, and it worked like a charm. The effect is somewhat unnerving as well as flattering. Neither of us was a lesbian, although it was a subject we sometimes discussed. We were both told, over and over again, that lesbianism was either a more perfect form of feminism or a form of excessive man-hating.

The first time I was attracted to a woman (not that it led anywhere) I told Gloria about it immediately, as if it were some kind of breakthrough.

Continue reading at Tablet Magazine.


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