Gloria Steinem turns 80: a look back at the women’s liberation movement

Gloria Steinem turns 80 today!

In her honor (and in honor of Women’s History Month), here’s a 1972 recording of Steinem and Margaret Sloan discussing women’s liberation in a talk at the University of Illinois.

Highlight: Steinem on the relationship between masculinity, the military, and Vietnam:

“To be a member of the jockocracy in good standing, no matter how much you might dislike or fear it — to have a job pattern that means you’re obsessively focused on a job and don’t really have time to see your own children, to see your family if you want to, to see friends, to change your job in midstream if you want — we are seeing how that kind of masculine mystique affects foreign policy, how in fact it is probably the dominant reason why we are in Vietnam and certainly why we stay.

The white men who rule this country have so attached their manhood, such as it might be, to the identity of this country. And of course, the more unsure they are of themselves, the more forceful they are, the more they need to assert the manhood of the country. Even though they clearly cannot win in Indochina, they cannot admit that they have lost.