If You're Not a Feminist, Then You're a Bigot

Question: How is feminism today different from the way it was \r\n30 and 40 years ago?

Gloria Allred:  I'm not sure how \r\ndifferent they are actually because I've been practicing 35 years.  I \r\nmean, as a feminist I believe the legal, social, and political economic \r\nequality for women with men.  I often say if you're not a feminist then \r\nyou're a bigot.  I mean, there is nothing in between.  It's like being \r\npregnant: you either are pregnant or you're not.  What else is there?  \r\nThere is no in between. 

So either you are for first class \r\ncitizenship—that means you're a feminist—or you're for second class \r\ncitizenship for women, which means to me you're a bigot or you're in \r\nsupport of insubordination or women instead of full equality, full \r\npartnership for women in each and every aspect of life.  So feminism is \r\nabout improving the condition in the status of women and vindicating \r\ntheir rights.

Conservatives usually say, "Look how far you've \r\ncome, looking to back to where you are now. Isn't that great progress?" \r\n But as a progressive person I don't look to see where we're come from. \r\n I look to where we should be.  And so no I don't think we've come far \r\nenough, because I'm judging by the gold standard and that is equality.  \r\nAnd we should be at the level of equality political, economically, \r\nlegally, emotionally, socially.  We're not there.  And so we still have a\r\n long, long way to go.  And we need more activism. 

Legally, \r\npolitically, in the streets, everywhere, to make this happen.  As I say \r\nno one ever gave us our rights, including the right to vote.  We had to \r\nfight to win it. 

Do you think we will "get \r\nthere" in the next 50 years?

Gloria Allred:  Well I \r\ndon't think there's revolution, I do think it's evolution.  But it's not\r\n going to happen unless women stand up and demand it.  It's as simple as\r\n that, because no one gives up power without a struggle.  And there is a\r\n huge struggle going on for power and for control over women's lives.  \r\nSo I would like to think that both my daughter and my granddaughter will\r\n enjoy equality in their lifetimes.  I'm sure that I will not in my \r\nlifetime, but it's not going to happen unless women demand it.  Unless \r\nour daughters say: "This is what we have a right to and we are going to \r\nforce the rights we have. And we are going to demand more rights.  And \r\nwe're not going to be satisfied until we win those rights."

That's\r\n how change is won and there are just so many women and girls around the\r\n world who do not yet enjoy that equal educational opportunity.  Some of\r\n them can't get any educational opportunity at all... do not enjoy \r\nemployment opportunity, do not... I mean, they are just living desperate\r\n lives.  And some of them are being trafficked as sex slaves and \r\nexploited in sweat shops.  Some of them are literally prisoners in their\r\n own home.  We have so much more work to do.  The work really has just \r\nbegun.

Recorded on June 9, 2010
Interviewed by David \r\nHirschman

Unless you're for first class citizenship for women, you're "in support of the subordination of women," says the attorney.

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