Question: How is feminism today different from the way it was
30 and 40 years ago?
Gloria Allred: I'm not sure how
different they are actually because I've been practicing 35 years. I
mean, as a feminist I believe the legal, social, and political economic
equality for women with men. I often say if you're not a feminist then
you're a bigot. I mean, there is nothing in between. It's like being
pregnant: you either are pregnant or you're not. What else is there?
There is no in between.
So either you are for first class
citizenship—that means you're a feminist—or you're for second class
citizenship for women, which means to me you're a bigot or you're in
support of insubordination or women instead of full equality, full
partnership for women in each and every aspect of life. So feminism is
about improving the condition in the status of women and vindicating
Conservatives usually say, "Look how far you've
come, looking to back to where you are now. Isn't that great progress?"
But as a progressive person I don't look to see where we're come from.
I look to where we should be. And so no I don't think we've come far
enough, because I'm judging by the gold standard and that is equality.
And we should be at the level of equality political, economically,
legally, emotionally, socially. We're not there. And so we still have a
long, long way to go. And we need more activism.
politically, in the streets, everywhere, to make this happen. As I say
no one ever gave us our rights, including the right to vote. We had to
fight to win it.
Question: Do you think we will "get
there" in the next 50 years?
Gloria Allred: Well I
don't think there's revolution, I do think it's evolution. But it's not
going to happen unless women stand up and demand it. It's as simple as
that, because no one gives up power without a struggle. And there is a
huge struggle going on for power and for control over women's lives.
So I would like to think that both my daughter and my granddaughter will
enjoy equality in their lifetimes. I'm sure that I will not in my
lifetime, but it's not going to happen unless women demand it. Unless
our daughters say: "This is what we have a right to and we are going to
force the rights we have. And we are going to demand more rights. And
we're not going to be satisfied until we win those rights."
how change is won and there are just so many women and girls around the
world who do not yet enjoy that equal educational opportunity. Some of
them can't get any educational opportunity at all... do not enjoy
employment opportunity, do not... I mean, they are just living desperate
lives. And some of them are being trafficked as sex slaves and
exploited in sweat shops. Some of them are literally prisoners in their
own home. We have so much more work to do. The work really has just
Recorded on June 9, 2010
Interviewed by David