Sigh procrastination got the best of me with this post, but let it be known that I did complete the interview before my speech and it did help me by giving me an idea on what direction my speech was going.

So, for Gloria Steinem, I did e-mail her publicist however never received a reply. However, while we were at SFU and later on when I was browsing the departments at the University, I came across the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Great I thought, there has to be someone in the department that has studied Gloria or the Women’s Liberation Movement so with a few clicks, I was able to find the general e-mail for the department, and (with the help of my mother, she know’s how to write fancy e-mails) I sent them the following e-mail:

To whom I may be speaking to,

 

            Hello! I’m Emma MacDonald, a grade nine student from Gleneagle Secondary. I am working on an eminent person project, and I have chosen Gloria Steinem. I was wondering if you could possibly put me in contact with someone who has studied the feminist movement that would be willing to answer questions about it and Gloria’s involvement in it? This does not need to be a time consuming interview, it could even be via email or telephone.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration,

 

Emma

 

From Reddit/Google images search

I got a reply!

Hi Emma

I teach about the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 60s and 70s so I hope to be able to answer some of your questions. Would this be by email or phone?

Jen Marchbank

I wasn’t expecting such a quick reply, so I eagerly replied with:

Thank you very much for replying so quickly! I’m very excited to be able to find out more about the movement. Once I have my finalized and approved set of questions, I’ll forward them to you, I think e-mail would be the easiest for both of us? As well, is it okay if I screenshot or post your answers on my eminent blog? I need something to be able to confirm my source. Thank so much for taking the time to help me with this, I will e-mail you in the next day or so!

Emma
I decided on e-mailing because it would be easier for recording answers and less time consuming since she is a professor at the university and I’m… well I’m in TALONS.
Once my questions were finalized and approved, I typed them out and sent them to her!
Good evening! Sorry for the late e-mail but I have my approved questions! Here they are: 

 
·    In your opinion, what was the pinnacle moment of the women’s liberation moment?

o   As well, in your opinion what were the most important events?

·      The Feminine Mystique was what brought many women to have feminist awakenings, in your opinion was there anything else that helped aid that?

o   Was there anything before it?

·       Focusing on Gloria,

o   In your opinion, was her role more journalism or public speaking?

o   In your opinion, did she have a bigger following than Betty Friedan?

o   What do you think her primary contributions were?

o   When did she really get involved in the movement?

o   In your opinion, what was her major “moment” in the movement?

·      In your opinion, did Ms. Magazine help keep the movement going?

o   If so, how? (If not, why?)

·      Do you think that the movement would have achieved as much attention as it did without her contribution(s)?

Thank you so much for your time I really appreciate it!

Throughout the e-mails I wanted Dr. Marchbank to know that I appreciated the time that she was taking to answer my questions so I thanked her more than a couple of times.

Again, 2-4 days later se replied with the answered questions:

Hi Emma

Please see my answers under your questions

Jen
—– Original Message —–

Good evening! Sorry for the late e-mail but I have my approved questions!
Here they are:

·    *In your opinion, what was the pinnacle moment of the women’s
liberation moment?*

Okay, it is clear that you are interested in the movement in the USA, so I will answer on the USA but please remember that women were organizing everywhere and feminism looked differently in different places.

There is no one pinnacle moment but I think there are a number of great advances, such as the passage of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion in limited contexts in 1973; the establishment of NOW; the ‘freedom can’ at the Miss America pageant protests and the Strike for Equality marches (50,000 women in New York; Boston, 2000; Chicago 3000) on Aug 26th, 1970 which was the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment – votes for women.

o   As well, in your opinion what were the most important events?
See above, but also, important events were occurring daily in women’s groups, of which there were over 500 by 1970. In these groups women came to realize that their personal problems were actually shared and political.

·      *The Feminine Mystique was what brought many women to have feminist
awakenings, in your opinion was there anything else that helped aid that?*

There had been other books but the period from the Second World War was a time which reinforced the cult of domesticity and so many earlier activists from the First Wave were ridiculed as ugly spinsters. However, it is curious that Friedan did not mention Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex or Alva Myrdal & Viola Klein’s (1956) Women’s Two Roles.

o   Was there anything before it? – see above

·       *Focusing on Gloria,*

o   In your opinion, was her role more journalism or public speaking?

Both, groups like the New York Redstockings question why she was held up as a feminist leader. Kathy Sarachild points out that she had the privilege to launch a magazine as she had the economic ability. It also did not hurt Gloria that she is beautiful and so became the poster child for feminism – and the media liked her, and she was one of them.

o   In your opinion, did she have a bigger following than Betty Friedan?
This is impossible to tell and is also not an accurate representation of feminism. It was not about finding a candidate to rally behind but about doing things differently. NOW and Liberal feminists agitated for policy changes to get women equal rights; many other feminists were about challenging the whole system.

o   What do you think her primary contributions were?
1969 wrote  “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation”

1972 founded Ms
1971 along with Bella Abzug; Betty Freidan; Shirley Chisholm and Myrlie Evers – Williams  – established the National Women’s Political Caucus.

o   When did she really get involved in the  movement?
After covering a meeting on abortion rights in 1969, what she heard really spoke to her and her own experiences of having an abortion. This is what spurred her to get involved.


o   In your opinion, what was her major “moment” in the movement?
I can’t answer this one as contributions are not one off events, feminism was and is organic and is continuous.

·      *In your opinion, did Ms. Magazine help keep the movement going?*
The magazine helped spread ideas but just like the Civil Rights movement the WLM had amazing ways of getting information and pamphlets out, spread and copied and discussed. Ms was the official face of one element of feminist publishing.

·      *Do you think that the movement would have achieved as much
attention as it did without her contribution(s)?*

I think there is a real danger in singling out the hard fought achievements gained by thousands of women activists and attributing it to one person. She founded Ms, she was a great public speaker, she was an activist within mainstream politics but without thousands of other feminist thinking women there would have been no readership for Ms.

 

This simple, but effective interview helped me tremendously with writing my speech and grasping a better idea on the Women’s Liberation Movement. With the answered questions, I was able to find a better direction on where to go with my speech, which also ended up with me having the perspective of Betty Friedan.

Advice that I got from the 10’s was that your interview doesn’t have to be with your eminent person because under circumstances, they could be unreachable so instead you could talk to someone in the same field as them. I do recommend this strategy (you could call it) for the interview! :)