After more than half a century advocating for women’s rights and other civil liberties, Gloria Steinem has become one of the most famous feminists of all time. While you might know her best as the face of the women’s liberation movement or the founder of Ms. magazine, the Ohio-born activist has quite a few other accomplishments to her name.
Those of us who grew up along with Gloria Steinem probably know that, as a young woman, she served a stint as a Playboy Bunny. Here are some more tantalizing facts the feminist icon, including her discovery, through Little Women, that “women could be a whole human world.”
But writer Ellen Gutoskey saved the best for last:
“15. GLORIA STEINEM HAS NO PLANS TO RETIRE.”
“After I was injured in a school shooting, I found unexpected comfort in binging grisly TV shows and podcasts. And I’m not the only one.”
Taylor Schumann reports that, after being wounded in a school shooting, she began obsessively watching true crime TV shows because “at their root was reality: real people and real pain, just like my own.”
Later, discussing true crime shows and podcasts, she was comforted by the realization that she wasn’t the only person fascinated by them. And those discussions often offered her the opportunity to share bits of her own experience, with the result that “I felt more known.” Finally, “I found an unexpected community of other victims of violent crime who also experienced a sort of mending of themselves through the true crime genre.”
Jon Friedman writes for Esquire about Neil Young’s song “Ohio,” written 50 years ago this summer “in the aftermath of the massacre of four students on the campus of Kent State University, on May 4, 1970.”
This moment in history has special poignancy for me because my graduation from Boston University, scheduled for late May, was canceled immediately after the killings. We were in the middle of the final exam period, and all exams not yet taken were called off. We were also made to leave the dormitories within the next few days.
And that experience made me sympathize with all the students who missed out on their high school, college, or graduate school graduations this year, the spring and summer of COVID-19.
And I wonder what kind of music will emerge from our current experience. Will there be anything as lastingly significant as Neil Young’s song “Ohio”?
“Today, of course,” writes Friedman, “Young is defined by his lifelong activism, but in early 1970, before the release of ‘Ohio,’ there was no real indication of the protest singer he was about to become.”
Darn, I miss baseball. Everything at all baseball related reminds me how much.
Academician Irina Dumitrescu riffs on the notion of solitude. The main bases for her musings are the new book The Art of Solitude by Stephen Batchelor and the curious isolation the COVID-19 virus has forced upon us:
Zoom and Skype and Instagram live beam faces and voices into our rooms, but we miss touch and scent of skin, the warmth of another’s body, the easy energy of a conversation in place. We are neither with one another nor alone with ourselves, neither imprisoned nor truly free.
As the virus surges, I hope all of you are keeping yourselves healthy, both physically and mentally. Take time to engage in whatever activities bring you comfort and joy. And do not feel the need to apologize for self-care.
© 2020 by Mary Daniels Brown