To future generations of women, you are the roots of change

TED Talks Daily
|

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Yeah salah. Hello hello hello one trill to have this opportunity when we ask all of our ted community many of them. Who would you like to hear from. If we're going to look forward on word when it comes to women in the world unanimously. The answer was gloria steinem. Now i know you're way too modest to accept that easily. So before we move onward. May i go back a bit since we have known each other for a long time and talk about those early days when you were building a movement challenging stereotypes moving beyond call four norms. You must have had some manifestation a fearless and your life. What were what were your fears. And how did you overcome them now. I certainly had a lot of fears and chief among them was speaking in public. Just like i am now because you know we choose to express ourselves in the way that is most natural and i became a writer. Because i didn't wanna talk. So the first thing i had to overcome was the fear of public speaking and because i was afraid to do it by myself i asked a friend to do with me. Dorothy pitman hughes and then flow kennedy anyway so we became in that way somewhat accidentally white woman one black woman speaking together which you know was very helpful to express. The movement was for everyone in those early days when you were becoming not only a really powerful public speaker in spite of your fears you were also normalizing and creating response to a word that became the anthem for so many of us literally changing lives standing in front of crowds and saying feminism is for every woman and i see now as as you do that there are still ways in which feminism is not understood as a concept misunderstood criticized. Sometimes where killed. How do you describe feminism. It's just the radical idea that human beings are all equal and we can dispense with the labels of gender and class and race and begin to realize our unique individuality Of course feminism was misunderstood in the beginning as if it were about female superiority or It was a movement for lesbians only not for all women. I mean you know. There were all kinds of of Misunderstandings not to mention ridicule. I hope that that's passed. I used to just send people to the dictionary to look. Feminism very helpful. How do you feel the new generation. The next generation of young women. What is their relationship with the word and the concept of. There's still a lot to be done to reach that equal stat. Yeah well. I don't think that i mean the the the word is still there woman. Ism women's liberation the role kinds of words But i think it's much more about content and not worrying too much about form so black lives. Matter was started by three young black feminists that was their creation that has is beginning to change much that needs to be changed And they just assumed that of course they were there as three young black feminists and you mentioned a reality that has just happened for all of the women in the united states. And that is this national presidential election in which the data is showing a great difference. Between the way white women voted. Black women voted and we know that women are not monolithic but the divide and the differences among us in every way. Not just racially. But where we live economically and culturally and almost. Every way has been deepened in the last few years. How do we as women began to bridge these differences well. I don't know if it's actually been deepened. But in any case. I mean the the thing that is different about us is that we have wombs or it and we all have wombs and there is in patriarchal forms of government and governance and just Culture an effort to control our bodies in our minds in ordered to control reproduction. And if there is racism is there is than there is a another motive which is to try to keep racists separate that is a racist motive and to perhaps try to influence one race to produce more than the other. Which actually you can see now in in White racist movements so it is just very basic and the reasons for our unity are very basic because the simple revolutionary statement is that we get to make decisions over our own bodies. How great is that

Coming up next