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Letter to the Editor: On Gloria Steinem
April 7, 2004
by Pat Taylor

My first (and last) impression of [Gloria] Steinem is that she is an opportunist. I have no quotes or anecdotes, I've never felt compelled to care.

She was smart, and attractive, and influential in a low-key way, self-effacing way. Seeing what direction society was going, she helped achieve many things for feminism (not all of them good, in spite of what the 'feminist establishment' thinks). She had the key to get into any door -- from Playboy to presidents -- and took advantage of it. She had a smile that lit up her face -- but her eyes were dead, she had no soul!

That was my impression when I first saw her picture years ago. Her face hasn't changed since. And neither has my impression.

I have read several of her articles, and had occasion to hear or read a number of her speeches. She spent a lifetime preaching against marriage. During that time I'm sure Steinem has been in love, and been loved in return, has had male companionship whenever she wishes it -- and had at least a few offers of marriage. So why should she suddenly get married in her 60's? Her marriage, too -- to me -- was an opportunistic act. She has seen too many old people, including her own mother, alone and without support. She simply did not want to be alone, without the physical and emotional security that marriage brings; she wanted somebody to take care of her. Nothing independent about it... For one who has lived her entire adult life talking down marriage, I find this reasoning inexcusable.

Perhaps I do Steinem an injustice, having never known the woman, but I cannot help but believe there is STILL no soul behind her eyes. The nearest she reminds me of is Dominique Francon before meeting Howard Roark (in The Fountainhead) -- but even Dominique had a sense of life, and a moral standard to guide her actions, however misguided those actions were at times. I have never seen this in Steinem.

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