There are two ongoing feminist lit-world moments that we are so, so pumped about: the release of Lenny late last month — a rad newsletter by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner — and the New Yorker profile of 81-year-old feminist icon Gloria Steinem this week. Now, today, on this glorious Friday, these two things have come together.
That’s right: In the latest from Lenny, Lena interviews Gloria Steinem. I know it’s a Friday guys, but hunker down, because this is some very important reading indeed. Giving Gloria the “Lenny Questionnaire,” Lena asks her everything from her first memory of her mother, to her worst choices before (and after) turning 21, all in a rapid-style Q&A.
Truly, it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. We learned the simple things about Gloria — like the parts of her body she feels the most affection for are her hands, for example — and her favorite snack that can “single-handedly return [her] to sanity” (chai, “because it’s sugar”). But what we really love is hearing about her power outfit, why Gloria dresses the way she does: “Boots, pants, a sweater or a T-shirt. A concha belt. Something that’s Native American or Indian, or something that has a resonance from the past before patriarchy came along.” Though Gloria’s signature style wasn’t something she always subscribed to. In fact, her worst choice before turning 21, she said, was “trying vainly to fit in.” “Trying to convert from a person who wore blue jeans and loafers and big socks and came from Toledo into somebody who wore Bermuda shorts and cashmere sweaters,” she told Lena. “To be fair to myself, my entire dormitory took a collection and bought me a pair of Bermuda shorts, they were so appalled.” We also discovered the reason why Gloria last cried, and it’s a story that makes us misty-eyed, TBH:
But the reason why Gloria actually sobs has to do with anger, she explained, and it’s a reason why many women cry when they’re angry, she told Lena in a wisdom-filled explanation. “We try to stay in control too long and then burst out,” she said. “Instead of saying what we’re angry about in a reasonable way, suddenly we just explode.”
But it’s nothing to be ashamed of, Gloria continued. “A woman who was an executive told me once that she got angry in work situations where she needed to get angry, cried, and just kept talking through it,” she said. “She had mostly men working for her, so it wasn’t so easy to be understood. And she would just say to them, ‘I am crying because I’m angry. You may think I’m sad. I am not sad. This is the way I get angry.’ And I’ve always wanted to do that. It’s still my goal. . .to say: ‘This is how I get angry. I am crying because I’m angry. Because I am crying, I will live longer than you.'”
Check out the entire interview here, because every single word of it is a glittering gem of empowerment — plus some of it is just hilarious (such as the moment we discovered Gloria’s favorite curse word is “fan-f*cking-tastic. Oh, to be Gloria Steinem).
(Image via Instagram.)