This and That
Review: Rodham *****

Review: Glorias, Gloria Steinem Biopic ***

As a charter subscriber to Ms., and the one-time boyfriend of several staunch feminists, I noted with interest The Glorias on Amazon. Some incidents depicted I didn’t know, but seem likely to be accurate, because the incidents I do know are represented perfectly. The time shifts are occasionally confusing and the gimmick of having Gloria at all her different ages riding together on a bus is a tad cute for me. Still, not terrible.

Like all biopics, it tries to hit the highlights. Her first famous article, on the life of a Playboy bunny. Her assertive television appearances. Her fight for the ERA and against Phyllis Schlafly. Her founding of the ever-struggling Ms. Magazine. As far as I can tell, they left out Irina Dunn’s quotation, popularized by Steinem, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” The movie does show her younger self reminding her of her bon mot "Marriage makes you half a person," at the time of her brief marriage in her 60s (he died after two years).

If you, like me, were formed intellectually by your exposure to this assertive, independent, intelligent woman, you will find this film interesting. A lot of men find strong women scary or irritating; they shouldn’t watch this film. I, on the other hand, have never liked any other kind of woman, starting with my mother, so I say, “Right On.” While I find many of Steinem’s failed initiatives sadden and disturb me, she delivers the coup de grâce herself when she says at a rally that one of the benefits of old age is that you can “remember when things were worse.”

 If my mother were in college today, asking how to become a lawyer, her advisor would probably not tell her, “Better to be a teacher or a nurse, dear. Women don’t become lawyers.”


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