I love The Oprah. This is no secret. (It’s been over a year and I still can’t bring myself to delete the last episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show off of our DVR.) Anyhoo, Oprah is back with a new series on OWN called Oprah’s Next Chapter. It’s classic awesome Oprah going to interesting places, talking to interesting people, all the while seeking learning and personal growth.
This week I watched her interview with Gloria Steinem. Here’s the thing, whenever I’m asked if I’m a feminist I usually say: “Oh yeah, but not like a Gloria Steinem militant feminist or anything like that.”
And as I was watching this interview I realized that I’ve kind of been an asshole about Gloria Steinem. I owe a lot to her. And by a lot, I mean, my very happiness. I think that a student that Oprah and Ms. Steinem were talking to at Barnard College said it best:
“People always ask ‘Can you have it all?’ meaning marriage, children, career. And I think the question we need to ask ourselves is ‘Do we have the power to do the things that will make us happy?'”
And that’s when it hit me, what Gloria Steinem has fought so hard for: CHOICE. Because before she came along, women had a hell of a lot less choices. The choice to marry or not to marry or to divorce, the choice of if and when to have children, the choice to work or stay at home, the choice to pursue a career in any industry, the choice to pursue as much of an education as we desire…the list goes on and on.
The sad thing is that women are still so incredibly critical of each others choices, instead of supporting each other and most importantly being GRATEFUL that we all have choices in the first place.
So thank you Gloria Steinem and thank you Margaret Sanger and thank you to every other woman who has paved the way to my happiness. I am truly in debt to you for the choices that I have. And I will no longer disrespect Gloria Steinem by saying that I’m not like her. I will instead try to be mindful that whenever I make a choice, big or small, I stay grateful that I have the power to choose to do the things that make me truly happy.
“The whole idea is not to figure out what what you should do that will matter, but to make each thing you do reflect the values you want, because we don’t know what’s going to matter in the future. The things I remember that changed my life are really very small. Everything you do is important. And I’ve never forgotten that.”
— Gloria Steinem