Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Day 62 of Feminist Joys: Reading Gloria Steinem’s Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions

I’m trying to catch up a bit on my feminist education this year. I recently read Steinem’s celebrated book, and was amazed at her energy and ambition. I wished I had such feminist talks and meetings to go to, as the ones she describes. (Anyone know of anything like that happening in Mumbai — any feminist groups or meetings?)

I was appalled at the trans- and homophobia. I was relieved to read that she has since apologised for her vile comments in the book, but the apology itself left much to be desired.

One of the essays I had read before, and is probably her most celebrated piece, but I enjoyed reading it again. Her piece on menstruation, especially this bit:
But listening recently to a woman describe the unexpected arrival of her menstrual period (a red stain had spread on her dress as she argued heatedly on the public stage) still made me cringe with embarrassment. That is, until she explained that, when finally informed in whispers of the obvious event, she said to the all-male audience, "and you should be proud to have a menstruating woman on your stage. It's probably the first real thing that's happened to this group in years."
Yes, let’s celebrate menstruation, instead of hiding it. Or treat it like a normal though often somewhat painful event. I’m down with that.

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