И вот что касается этого последнего, то мне кажется очень важным не забывать то, ради чего написала статья Шмитч: того, сколько всего сделало "первое поколение феминисток", что сегодняшние проблемы не могли вообще возникнуть (в смысле, вопросы бы не возникли :)).
Give Gloria a break.
Like so many TV talkers before her, Gloria Steinem said something regrettably flip on a televised gab show the other day, and her words have come back to attack her like the devil with a pitchfork.
What exactly did she say?
You've probably heard by now. She said that the only reason so many young women are supporting Bernie Sanders for president is to meet boys.
That's what the headlines, the stories and the commentators have told us she said: "to meet boys." One headline rephrased it: "Young Women Support Bernie Sanders Just To Get Laid?"
Ridiculous. Demeaning. Drum that over-the-hill faux feminist out of the revolution.
Oh, wait. That's not quite what she said?
Let's back up. A few days ago, Gloria Steinem, 81, a courageous, dignified, witty, complex woman who helped invent feminism as we know it and need it, appeared on "Real Time with Bill Maher."
Maher made a few cracks that might be called sexist if Steinem were younger ("still rockin' the hip-huggers"), but she quipped back graciously and they proceeded to flit through some serious topics — abortion, domestic violence — in that TV talk way.
When Maher noted that some older women have called young women "complacent" about legalized abortion, Steinem disagreed.
"I find the young women very, very activist," she said, "and they're way, way more feminist. We were like 12 crazy ladies. Now it's the majority."
She didn't say that feminism, once radical, is now normal only because her generation and ones before her fought for opportunities women now take for granted.
She did, however, point out that "gratitude never radicalized anybody."
"I did not say, 'Thank you for the vote,'" she said. "I got mad on the basis of what was happening to me. And I think that's true of young women too."
The talk flitted on.
"They really don't like Hillary," Maher said, meaning Clinton. "What's that about?"
Steinem summoned one of her favorite talking points, that women get more radical as they age, while men get more conservative. She carefully added, "I don't mean to over-generalize."
Then, boom, she stepped on her own grenade.
"When you're young," she said, with a light laugh, "you're thinking 'Where are the boys?' The boys are with Bernie."
As soon as she said it, she seemed to sense she hadn't said it right, but after a moment's awkward banter, the conversation moved on.
But those two flip sentences — the words "to meet boys" never appeared — blew up in the media. Presto. A feminist heroine was recast as a woman-bashing villain.
The next day, Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of state, inadvertently tossed gas on the fire.
"We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it's done," she said at a Clinton rally, talking about the long fight for women's rights. "It's not done."
If only she'd stopped there. Instead, she said something she's safely said many times before, a line that has been borrowed by Taylor Swift and immortalized on Starbucks cups.
"There's a special place in hell," she said, "for women who don't help each other."
Pretty soon, the media was agog with stories of older feminists scolding, scorning, shaming and rebuking young women, especially those who aren't Clinton fans, as if covens of gray-haired feminists were riding around in old VW buses shouting at female college students.
What a gift those sentences were for anyone eager to fuel the fight between supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, between generations, among women.
There is a feminist generation gap. It doesn't fall neatly along the Clinton-Sanders divide and it isn't absolute. But just as there are always generation gaps in technology, fashion and music, there's a gap between what 22-year-olds (some? most?) understand about the history of women and what (some? most?) 62-year-olds do.
When I was in my 20s I wrote a column about the ineffectiveness of the National Organization for Women, which by the 1980s seemed to me like a tired group with an outmoded tone.
I forget the details of what I said, but I remember the response from the women in their 50s and 60s who let me know how little I understood of what they had done to get me where I was.
I didn't understand then what their generation had done for mine and that I should be grateful. They didn't understand why my generation didn't understand and that we were going to do it our way now. We talked it out and all learned something.
Steinem and Albright deserve our respect and our thanks. Their brief, flip remarks, measured against their lifetimes of action, aren't good reason for a rift between people who share the same fundamental desire: equal opportunity for women.
Whatever generation we belong to, we need to be careful not to cast our allies as our enemies.