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“Any way you fucking well please”: Meeting Gloria Steinem

14 Nov

We’re happy to announce that we’ll be posting contributions from guest writers, from UNM and elsewhere. First up is Megan Herceg, a member of the Women’s Resource Center’s Impact Project, on Gloria Steinem’s recent visit to UNM to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Women’s Resource Center and the Women Studies Program. Incidentally, 2012 also marks 40 years of Ms. Magazine. The WRC graciously allowed WITA to host a student leader meet-and-greet with Ms. Steinem, which Megan attended.

I’d like to thank the Academy… Or rather, Women in the Academy for the incredibly inspiring experience of meeting Gloria Steinem. I’ve never seen such a captive audience as the one I sat in during the meet and greet. Gloria not only allowed the audience to ask questions, but also asked us to tell her what she needed to know. It was apparent from the strong, eloquent way she answered questions that she was a leader, but it was her desire to hear the knowledge of the crowd that made her stand out to me; It was very special that she considered us equals. Gloria answered many questions, particularly about how we can continue to fight for gender equality (“Any way you fucking well please,” if you were curious), and I think we were all expecting a grand solution, but instead, what I think Gloria Steinem did for the attendees of the meet and greet was re-inspiring the passion that we’d forgotten we had.

It’s not that we weren’t passionate before, or that we didn’t work hard toward the goal of gender equality, or even that we hadn’t been tirelessly planning events to get out the word about current violations of human rights, it’s that there’s a difference between the passion when you first fall in love with an idea, in this case feminism, and the passion of the years after that. I believe that the excitement of meeting Gloria Steinem carried through the entire experience; through loving her and loving her ideas, we began to re-love the ideas that got us started down this path.

What I’d really like to say is thank you to Gloria Steinem and those who participated for re-inspiring me. It’s this love for the ideals of feminism and my rekindled passion for them that motivates me to ask you to personally connect with us at the Women’s Resource Center and through Women in the Academy. Gloria Steinem reminded me that one of the most important things we can do here at UNM while we get our education is support and connect with one another. Here’s the official invitation to continue what Gloria started. Let’s begin a legacy of passion and equality at our school, as a guide for future students and the community at UNM.