What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: Has feminism succeeded?

Gloria Steinem:  It’s hard to measure success when we’re dealing with between 500 and 5,000 years of patriarchy depending on which continent we sit, so I would say feminism has been successful and we have a huge distance to go, huge.  For instance, we’ve demonstrated in this and other modern countries or industrialized countries that women can do what men can do, but we have not demonstrated that men can do what women can do therefore children are still mostly raised, hugely mostly raised by women and women in industrialized modern countries end up having two jobs one outside the home and one inside the home. And more seriously than that children grow up believing that only women can be loving and nurturing, which is a libel on men, and that only men can be powerful in the world outside the home, which is a libel on women. So that's huge step we haven’t taken yet.

Question: Will same-sex parenting couples help to challenge these notions?

Gloria Steinem:  Both single males who are parents and same-sex couples of men who are raising children that is certainly a great help because those children will grow up knowing that men can be as loving and nurturing as women.  They will be much less likely to falsely divide the world into masculine qualities and feminine qualities, but there is a bigger and deeper connection between the women’s movement and gay and lesbian movements, which has always been true.  I mean they always come together, and our adversaries are always the same because the male supremacist, patriarchal, ultra-right-wing, whatever you want to... religious fundamentalists, whatever you want to call it is devoted to saying that sex is only moral and okay when it is directed towards having children and occurs in patriarchal marriage, so the children are owned.

So what the means is that both for women, all women, whatever our sexuality, it’s crucial to our health that we are able to separate sexuality from reproduction.  I mean whether or not we can control when we give birth is the biggest element in our health, our education, our economic welfare, our life expectancy, everything. So it’s crucial that we are able to separate sexuality and reproduction. And of course same sex couples stand for, in a way, the separation of sexuality from reproduction, so our adversaries are really all the same people.

On campus, sometimes kids ask me, “Well why is the... why are religious fundamentalists against both lesbians and birth control?”  You know this seems inconsistent to them. But it’s not.  It’s consistent because they are against any form of sexuality, of sexual expression that can’t end in conception, which happens to be a huge lie about human sexuality.  Humans can experience the same sexual pleasure whether we can conceive or not.  Sexuality has always been for humans a form of communication, a way we express love and caring and bonding, not only a way we have children if we choose to.

Recorded on October 28, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller

Directed & Produced by Jonathan Fowler

More from the Big Idea for Friday, November 05 2010

 

The Fight Isn’t Over

Newsletter: Share: