Thursday, September 21, 2006
Sisters are doing it for themselves
Now I can finally tell the Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem stories from yesterday.
Ms Marinucci, being the great friend that she is, invited me up to the SF Chronicle for a panel featuring Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Helen Zia, Cristina Azocar, Robin Morgan, former Planned Parenthood national director Gloria Feldt and producer Carol Jenkins. They are all on the board of a new non-profit, the Women's Media Center, based in New York City.
The media program is providing women as sources for stories, training for women in media, next year a style book will be published. Sounds fabulous. And with a line up like this, it is sure to get attention, I hope.
So here are my personal recollections of this estrogen fest:
Carla and I plopped into the front row. I had my camera in hand. Jane Fonda came in with her very cute dog and sat down and promptly proceeded to talk with the women in front of her. Very accessible, that's a good sign.
We all waited expectantly for Ms Steinem to come in. When she did I leaned over to Carla and said, "Oh my godd, Gloria Steinem is sitting right in front of us, I'm having a hot flash." When I later told the other Gloria about this, she laughed, clapped me on the back and said, "I refuse to be responsible for your hot flashes." Amen, sister.
The room at the Chronicle was large and overflowing. As can be expected, the vast majority were women. The whole panel was interesting and engaging and totally on message about the need for this center.
Valuable points were made during the discussion. The need for a center like this, duh. The lack of women as sources for stories. Robin Brand noted that since 9/11 the number of women quoted and used as sources has dropped from 11% to less than 7%. All war, all testosterone all the time.
Gloria Steinem's opening comment was so wonderful. "We are not going to argue about whether women are equal. We are operating from the premise that women are equal." Ok maybe not those exact words but the first sentence I swear by. Enough to take the breath away from any feminist. I was breathless.
I also had a chance for a little conversation with the lovely Ms Jane Fonda. We chatted about 9 to 5, Monster-in-Law and the lesbian dance where I met her in Santa Fe. She said "Oh that was my first lesbian dance." Does that mean there was more than one? Well we can only hope.
So now I want to get more women of color bloggers on their web site. There are no Latinas and I will work on changing that. Maybe I can even get my blog on there, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. In the meantime, I will continue to write away, inspired, again, by these women who continue to open doors for us. Thank you doesn't even come close.
Check out Carla's blog here about the event, too.