Gloria, a Life

Posted by in Politics, Ponderings

We went to see the play Gloria, a Life last night.   The play was almost too good. It made me a bit sad and perhaps a little to too introspective for my own good.   I think a lot about how self-destructive it is for the human race to have spent so  many years refusing to to take advantage of the abilities of over half the population.   I wonder if the world might not be a whole lot better place if women had been allowed more easily contribute to its advancements in culture, philosophy, technology, and the rest.   How much more could we have accomplished in the last few hundred years, if everybody could have readily worked at what they loved and did best, instead of making it such an uphill battle for a woman to have the same opportunities as a man?  As I observe  a patriarchal misogynist and want-to-be despot, elevate and encourage our worst of qualities as a nation, I can’t help but think we might have gotten to a different place if all genders had shared equally in leading us here.

I believe in feminism with the same passion and determination with which I abhor racism.  If you had asked me before last night, I would have said that I’ve felt this way all of my life, but as we watched the performance, I realized I had been fooling myself.   As we saw Gloria Steinem’s life re-enacted, and I thought about how I had viewed these events at the time, I had to admit that I was complicit in buying into  the horrendous way Gloria was viewed by the media in the early days.  I was fortunate to have a very smart, strong mother, who showed by example that the commonly accepted view of a “women’s place”  and the media presentation of  feminism was dead wrong, and yet still, back then,  I saw Gloria Steinem as extreme, and  a bit eccentric.

I went to see this play with the expectation of learning about a woman whose work and activism I admire, but I learned a bit about myself too.   As I got a peek into what it felt like to be objectified, diminished,  and restricted by even those closest to you, family, friends and co-workers, I also gained insight how much of that experience I had been blind to, as a younger man.  It scared me, because it made me wonder what I equally grievous injustice I am blind to now.  It also helped me understand, in a more visceral way, how it was possible for enough  people to be  misled to elect  Trump and confirm Kavanaugh..

Go see Gloria, a Life.  The performers were incredible, and her story  feels very immediate and real.