5/23/2016

An Evening with Gloria Steinem




Three months ago I wrote this on my blog about Gloria Steinem: "One day I'd love to hear her speak in person because I imagine it'd be extraordinary and life changing in the best possible way." That was very apt of me in many ways but when I heard Gloria was headed to Auckland for the Writers Festival I had to go. It was the only event at the Writers Festival I made it to but I'm so glad I was able to go and see her. It was extraordinary. 

I didn't get to take the notes I'd intended to take during her session as the lights were dimmed rendering my notebook useless. In all honesty I think I would've been too busy listening anyway to remember to take notes. I also didn't take any photos during the session itself either. I was really lucky to be seated quite close to the stage which also meant I was right in the thick of the festival patrons so I wanted to be mindful of them. I did however do a bit of live-tweeting and have a reasonably good memory of the session.

Gloria was interviewed by the chair of Edinburgh's Book Festival and a lot has been made of the fact that it was a man interviewing her. That didn't bother me so much and I actually thought he did a brilliant job. Her session focused on numerous points in Gloria's life; what she made of her expose of the Playboy Bunny treatment, hosting the first ever women's conference, whether she thinks Hillary Clinton has a shot at presidency (she does), some anecdotes on her father, her friendship with Wilma Mankiller and more. She's such an incredible storyteller, I've never been in the presence of someone quite like her before. I could've listened to her speak all day. She also has a wonderful sense of humour and apologised profusely for America's handing down of The Bachelor franchise and of course the ever-continuing presence of Trump in the international media. 



There was also a Q&A session which was interesting as well and I loved how it acted as a forum for feminists both young and old to voice their opinions and seek advice from Gloria herself. Following that there was a signing and I got to meet Gloria+thank her personally for basically being the best woman on earth. She was so lovely. All in all it was such an inspiring night and I'm still feeling the empowerment and inspiration from it now. If you want to hear Gloria in conversation, this interview with Emma Watson is fantastic also.

-Did you see Gloria Steinem at the Writers Festival? What did you think of her session?

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