Feminism Celebrates the Individual
Question: Are men and women equal or do they have their own strengths and weaknesses?
Gloria Steinem: But there aren’t two sides. I mean I think what we… We don’t actually know because we’ve been so deeply propagandized with the idea of masculine and feminine we probably don’t know what differences may be in a group sense, but what we do know is that the individual differences are much greater, so the differences between two women are quite likely to be bigger than the differences, generalized differences between males and females as groups for every purpose except reproduction, just as the individual differences between two members of the same race or ethnicity are probably greater than the differences between two races which might just have to do with resistance to certain diseases or you know.
So the purpose of feminism is to free the uniqueness of the individual and to understand that inside each of us is a unique human being who is a combination of heredity and environment. I mean that is a binary too—I never understand why it’s heredity or environment; it’s both—that have for millennia upon millennia combined and resulted in this human being who could never happen before in quite the same way, could never happen again in quite the same way, so the purpose really is to free that in everyone and not look at labels. Obviously there is no such thing as race and in many ways sex is a continuum, not a binary. So it doesn’t make sense to label people in that way. Even when we do that we discover there is a huge overlap. There are perhaps poles of what seem to be masculine and feminine. Then there are 30% of each that are overlapped. That is a lot of people.
So I think if we could just lift up the labels and look at two things one, our uniqueness as individuals and what talents we bring to the world and what... You know there is a person inside every baby, right? And anybody who has ever met a baby knows there is already a person in there. That is one thing and the other thing is community. That human beings are communal beings and that we can’t exist or prosper by ourselves. We need each other’s support.
Recorded on October 28, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller
Directed & Produced by Jonathan Fowler
It’s not helpful to talk about men and women as if they were fixed and binary entities, says the celebrated feminist. "The purpose of feminism is ... to understand that inside each of us is a unique human being who is a combination of heredity and environment"
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.