Odd Interview of Gloria Steinem in the NYT

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By Deborah Solomon, here. This is an excerpt:

Q: It’s been a generation since you founded Ms. magazine and became the face of American feminism, so why, at this late and supposedly liberated date, do we need GreenStone Media, an all-female, all-talk radio network that you just started with Jane Fonda?

The radio has become overbalanced toward the ultraright. AM talk radio does not reflect the fact that only 30 percent of the country, at the most, is anywhere near Rush Limbaugh.

But women, too, can be noisy right-wingers. Look at Ann Coulter.

If you create a movement, you create jobs and profits for someone to sell it out. That’s true of Phyllis Schlafly. It’s true of Ann Coulter; with both of them, I couldn’t invent a better adversary.

Who do you see as an ally? What about Hillary Clinton?

I disagree with her very much on the war. I feel otherwise she’s good on issues. But the war is huge.

Is Condoleezza Rice an ally of women?

I wish someone would write an article called”How Did Condoleezza Rice Get That Way?”She’s so separate from the welfare of the majority of Americans and especially the female and African-American communities to which she belongs.

So you see your radio network as the female version of Al Franken’s left-leaning Air America Radio?

No. No. They are very Washington-directed, very argumentative. What we are doing is more populist, centrist and community-oriented.

You seem attached to the 70′s ideal of communal activity, but most of us are now”bowling alone,”to borrow the title of Robert Putnam’s book on the collapse of American community.

Consciousness-raising groups became networking groups became book clubs. But the books are an excuse for people to come together. There is a reason why societies universally believe that the greatest punishment is isolation.

Steinem is right at least about book clubs: Mine is a very important part of my life, and a lot of my friends and family members feel the same way about theirs. I’ll check out GreenStone Media, I guess.

–Ann Bartow

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