On March 22nd, famed feminist, activist, and journalist Gloria Steinem gave a talk at Simmons College to an audience of professors, students, alumnae, and many SWSG mentors! Her talk, entitled “The F Word: Feminism Today,” discussed the changes that we have seen in social justice for women since the last time she spoke at Simmons- 40 years ago in 1973, when she gave Simmons’ Commencement address. These included women’s reproductive rights,the gender income gap, “feminization of poverty”, and many others.
Gloria Steinem is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Smith College, and has spent her life being an activist. She has written several best selling books, and has received many awards for her writing and activism. She is also the co-founder of Ms. Magazine. Ms. Steinem is currently working on a new book Road to the Heart: America As if Everyone Mattered.
Shannon Curran, a senior SWSG Mentor and Simmons College Class of 2013 President, was one of the main organizers of the event, and was able to meet with Ms. Steinem as she took a tour of Simmons and met with student organizations focused on advocating for girls and women. Several SWSG mentors from Simmons College had the opportunity to meet Ms. Steinem as well and talk to her about the mission of SWSG, as well as their personal goals for being mentors. They, and other student leaders, were given priority seating in the audience of 500 during Ms. Steinem’s talk. Boston Program Manager and Simmons alumna, Kenyora Johnson, was also in the audience.
As a Simmons student, SWSG mentor, and intern, I found that Ms. Steinem left us with such an inspirational message to continue the work SWSG does. Aligned with SWSG’s mission of fostering relationships between girls and their mentors, and teaching strong skills through strong role models, Ms. Steinem spoke to one of the biggest problems facing our girls today: “It is difficult to maintain power of your mind and identity if what you’re reading does not have you in it.”
In this spirit, mentors from Simmons shared some their favorite one-liners from Ms. Steinem’s talk.
“The longest journey is from the head to the heart.”
“Hate generalizes, love specifies”
“Progress is not linear, we still have a ways to go”
“Cultures are built in a circle, not a pyramid”
“It has always been a mark of our humanity not just to think, but to think about thinking.”
“Our bodies are valued as ornaments, rather than instruments: for how they look, rather than for what they can do.”
“God may be in the details, but the Godess is in the connections.”