Political activist, journalist and subject of the Sundance film “The Glorias” Gloria Steinem has been vocal about the presidential election. At TheWrap’s Sundance studio, she addressed the importance of having a feminist president — regardless of gender — and getting rid of the current president, Donald Trump.
“First of all, we need a feminist president, whether that person is male or female,” Steinem told TheWrap’s founder and CEO Sharon Waxman at Sundance. “There are some terrible women who are anti-equality, so it’s really about the substance. It’s great also, the idea of having a woman there, just like the idea of having Obama there, so that kids — hopefully girls as well as boys — could look and see somebody who looks like them and imagine themselves into the White House.”
When asked whether she believes we will soon see a woman in the post, Steinem said that there are more pressing concerns at the moment.
“We will eventually, but right now the content is more important. And first of all, we have to get rid of Trump,” she said. “I will work my heart out for any of the democratic candidates — they are all good people, they have good positions on the issues, I will work to get out the vote for them.”
“The Glorias,” directed by Julie Taymor, is a biopic about Steinem, perhaps one of the most well-known feminists of all time. Five Glorias trace her journey, from her time as a young woman in India to her role in the women’s rights movement that started in the 1960s. For Steinem, everything changed for her when she covered an abortion speak-out for New York Magazine in 1969. According to The Guardian, Steinem had an abortion herself, at the age of 22.
“I think what every movement comes out of is people sitting around and telling the truth,” Steinem explained. “In my case, it was going to a hearing about abortion, which was then illegal. And in New York state, the legislature was considering whether to liberalize the law so they invited 14 men and one nun to testify. So a group of women — I was being a journalist — said no, let’s hear from women, let women testify who have actually had this experience. I went to cover it, and for the first time in my life I heard women standing up in public, telling the truth about something that was illegal, unacceptable, truly had happened and I thought, ‘Why am I not telling the truth about this?'”
Flash forward half a century and Steinem believes we’ve made some progress in several social justice movements.
“When I think where we started, I feel amazed, because now the issues that used to be 10, 20 or 30% in the public opinion poll are now majority issues, for all the social justice movements, and that’s huge,” Steinem said. “If we look back and see — as you can see in the film that Julie has made — how much progress we’ve made, it’s huge. That’s the good news.”
She added: “The bad news is that because we now have majority support, the third or so of the country that still depends on the old hierarchy is mad as hell that they don’t have the same gender, race privileges and a sense of identity. So they are in backlash, and they have a president — Trump. So it’s both the best of worlds and the worst of worlds.”
“The Glorias,” written by Taymor and Sarah Ruhl, is based on the book by Steinem and stars Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Bette Midler, Janelle Monae, Timothy Hutton and Lorraine Toussaint. It premiered at the festival on Sunday.
Watch the video above.