Gloria Steinem: A Leader in Social Change
Writer and feminist activist Gloria Steinem visited campus in February 2008 as part of Appalachian State University's Forum Lecture Series, which brings prominent speakers to campus. She gave a public lecture on the progress of feminism. She also met with students, listening to their dreams and concerns and encouraging them to follow their passions.
Steinem has been a leader in the U.S. women's liberation movement for 40 years. She is the author of the bestselling books "Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions" and "Revolution from Within." Among her credits, she co-founded Ms. magazine, the first national feminist magazine, and the Ms. Foundation for Women. She also helped found The National Women's Political Caucus, Voters for Choice, The Women's Action Alliance and the Coalition of Labor Union Women.
Appalachian sponsors the Forum Lecture Series to promote the exchange of ideas. Sometimes challenging, sometimes controversial, the speakers enliven campus dialogue. They bring awareness to issues of concern in society and help students think critically about those issues.
This text transcript corresponds to the audio from the multimedia presentation located at the top of this page.
Gloria Steinem: If you look at the famous study of intellectual self-esteem over a fifteen-year continuum of young women and young men who had been at the top of their high school class, you see that women's intellectual self-esteem tends to go down with every year of higher education, whereas men's stays the same or goes slightly up. Because what women are often learning is that everybody who accomplished something in the world didn't look like them.
Gloria Steinem: Now that is greatly remedied by taking Women's Studies, of course, but not everybody takes Women's Studies. It's part of the reason we need to make courses in both race and sex stereotyping entry-level courses that everybody takes, so that men are also released to do what they want to do that maybe doesn't fit the masculine stereotype, and that we understand the racial politics as well. And in a way the Women's Studies, African-American Studies, Native American Studies, Appalachian Studies are all remedial studies. They should be part of everybody's history.