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Gloria Allred is a founding partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Allred, Maroko & Golberg. A noted feminist and women's rights attorney, she has represented a wide variety[…]

Unless you’re for first class citizenship for women, you’re “in support of the subordination of women,” says the attorney.

Question: How is feminism today different from the way it was rn30 and 40 years ago?

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

So either you are for first class rncitizenship—that means you're a feminist—or you're for second class rncitizenship for women, which means to me you're a bigot or you're in rnsupport of insubordination or women instead of full equality, full rnpartnership for women in each and every aspect of life.  So feminism is rnabout improving the condition in the status of women and vindicating rntheir rights.

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

Legally, rnpolitically, in the streets, everywhere, to make this happen.  As I say rnno one ever gave us our rights, including the right to vote.  We had to rnfight to win it. 

Do you think we will "get rnthere" in the next 50 years?

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

That'srn how change is won and there are just so many women and girls around thern world who do not yet enjoy that equal educational opportunity.  Some ofrn them can't get any educational opportunity at all... do not enjoy rnemployment opportunity, do not... I mean, they are just living desperatern lives.  And some of them are being trafficked as sex slaves and rnexploited in sweat shops.  Some of them are literally prisoners in theirrn own home.  We have so much more work to do.  The work really has just rnbegun.

Recorded on June 9, 2010
Interviewed by David rnHirschman