Gloria Steinem: 'Original Languages Didn’t Even Have He and She’

By Sam Dorman | October 26, 2015 | 2:04pm EDT
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem at her New York home. (AP photo)

In a recent interview with Esquire, feminist icon Gloria Steinem said that "the original languages didn't even have he and she.”


Steinem’s comments came in response to Esquire writer Scott Raab’s suggestion that sexism and racism "all comes down to the fear of the other."


“I don't believe it!” Steinem objected. “The original languages didn't even have he and she. They didn't have concepts of masculine and feminine,” she said. “People were people. And the whole idea was that we were in a circle together, not in a hierarchy together.”


“In the piece you wrote for Esquire [The Moral Disarmament of Betty Coed] in 1962, there's the idea that the problem isn't so much the sexual liberation of women as a result of contraceptive technology, but that there are so few liberated men. And you weren't wrong,” Raab argued.


“I wouldn't put it that way anymore, because I think we're all enmeshed in this political system that is devoted to controlling reproduction,” Steinem, the co-founder of Ms. Magazine, responded.


“You didn't invent it; I didn't invent it. Thirty percent of us are trying to preserve it, and 70 percent are trying to change it. We're not active enough or voting enough or mad enough.”



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