It’s 3:30 p.m. and we’re anxiously waiting for Gloria Steinem’s phone call. Our notes are ready and we’ve re-briefed ourselves on Revolution from Within and Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. We can’t wait to ask her how her marriage is going and what she thinks about the people who denounce her as a phony feminist because she tied the knot. Well, wait - can we ask about that? Is it too much of a personal question? We’re not The National Enquirer. We’re dying to ask her about the undercurrent of sexism that still runs through comedy. Will she even care? I mean, after all, she practically spearheaded the women’s movement of the 1970s and tried to get the ERA passed. And we want to ask her about jokes? Oh, man (I mean woman) - we’re out of our league here, a couple of stand-up comics interviewing Gloria Steinem? It’s 3:35 p.m. She hasn’t called. She forgot. She won’t call. Great, we've…and then the phone interrupted our neurosis. It was Gloria. We nervously thanked her up front for doing this interview, and with her calm, gentle manner dripping through the phone, we became sedated and enthralled.
Can you imagine if Gloria Steinem was doing open mikes instead of lectures? History could’ve been written very differently. Gloria told us, “I always thought it’d be fun to be a stand-up comic. Then I thought, ‘Oh, wait a minute - I make people laugh because they don’t expect me to do it.’” It would have been a great hook, we thought: the leader of the women’s revolution doing stand-up comedy. We smell a sitcom!
Gloria Steinem first moved to New York City in 1960 to embark on a career in journalism. Throughout the early 1970’s Gloria lectured on feminism all over the United States. What most people are familiar with is that Gloria helped to found Ms. Magazine in 1971 (the first woman’s magazine that wasn’t based on advice for housewives or heavy on the beauty tips.) In fact, Ms. Magazine purposely avoids ad sales. That same year, Gloria helped to found the National Women’s Political Caucus and the Women’s Action Alliance. Since then she went on to publish the best selling Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions.
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