Gloria Steinem is one of America's most influential and revered feminist leaders. When Gloria was on the show recently, Oprah says she wanted to talk about an editorial Gloria wrote about Governor Palin that sparked national attention, but she had to wait until the election was over.
Gloria says the article has earned her a "big reward and a little punishment too," but she's glad she did it. "What I was trying to say is that the women's movement is about content, not about form. It's not about biology as destiny; it's about making life better for everybody," she says. "So, though I fiercely defend Sarah Palin's right to be wrong, we're really talking about a single standard here. She shouldn't be criticized for her clothes or her children, but she also has to meet the standard for being a vice president, much less a president, which she did not."
Gloria says Governor Palin was chosen as the Republican vice presidential candidate in order to attract a certain demographic, but she says that plan ultimately failed. "She was a temporary benefit because ... everyone was curious about her. [But] as more and more of the content of her policies and her actions and her lack of experience was revealed, she became a liability. And if you look statistically now, you do see that more people left McCain than arrived because of Palin."
The election of President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden was a big victory for women, Gloria says. "To have two men in the national leadership ... who actually are the first two in my lifetime to talk about male responsibility for children through policy and also personally, that is of huge, huge importance to women."
Now that the presidential election is over, Gloria says she's just relieved it went smoothly. "I'm very grateful for the way it happened—without contentiousness, without having to march in the streets to get our votes recounted, without hanging chads," she says. "It's a big thing."