Cet épisode de La Poudre est disponible à l’écoute dans une version doublée en français. Vous le retrouverez dans la playlist La Poudre.
The great feminist activist Gloria Steinem is the guest of the 56th episode of La Poudre, recorded in public the 19th of March at the Mona Bismarck American Center. Historical figure of feminist fights in the United States, she rewinds on her journey and her battles with Lauren Bastide. Together, they talked about writing, travelling and loving.
I interviewed Gloria Steinem.
No, but, really, here it is: I interviewed Gloria Steinem. It’s wonderful, it’s like honey in your ears, the theoretical power of this woman. What she says about speech, about non-violence, about the media, about racism. She is absolutely extraordinary. She has the voice and the mesmerising beauty of an eighty year-old activist, who spent her life on the road, sharing the feminist thought. And even though the sound isn’t of the finest quality, and I’m terribly sorry about that, I thank from the bottom of my heart both the Mona Bismarck Center and Harper Collins France who allowed me to talk to Gloria Steinem in public that evening.
Before moving on to our interview, I want to say thank you as well to all our French Gloria Steinems. There are many of them, these day-by-day activists who give their time and energy for our fight, at the expense of their personal life and even health, sometimes. They will know who they are, actually many of them already came through here. But just because I fancy it, I turn my thoughts to Paye ta Schnek, also known as Anaïs Bourdet, for the amazing work she has done with her Tumblr since 2012, changing so many women’s lives. Thank you Anaïs.
Now, I leave you by Gloria Steinem’s side. Have a beautiful summer, I’ll come back in the fall with an ever more explosive season 4 of La Poudre. Take care of yourselves and keep The Powder alive.
Gloria Steinem was born in 1934 in Ohio and tells her incredible journey in her last book, « My Life on the Road ». Talking about writing and the importance of sharing our stories both open her discussion with Lauren Bastide (05:49). She mentions her unusual childhood and the marks her parents’ personal stories left on her own life choices (06:57), but also her years spent on the road and the open state-of-mind she developed there (09:12). The feminist fights she upheld pushed her into surpassing her own fear of speaking in public (13:37) but also into appreciating the specific bond created by being in the actual presence of each other (14:24). She rediscovered this necessary relation, preserved by women in India, during one of her first trips there (18:05) ; a technique which inspired Gandhi in the creation of his pacifist resistance movement! (18:50) With Lauren Bastide, she brings up the creation of her own media as a necessary step to make sure the less privileged’s discourses and issues end up taking space in the public sphere (16:19). Discourses she always fought to maintain as intersectional as possible, reminding us that feminist advances in the US were always mainly supported by women of colour (22:16). But if all her projects came to life, it is also - a little bit - thanks to Dr John Sharp, the doctor who helped her abort at a time when the procedure was illegal (26:53). She reminds us how important sharing these experiences - which are part of so many women’s lives - is, and how important it is to protect these hard-won rights in societies built without, if not against, women (27:17). After shedding some light on her past and its lessons, this discussion ends on Gloria Steinem’s vision of the current feminist revolution and on the necessary anger fueling it and driving activists everyday (33:00).
This episode was recorded at the Mona Bismarck Center.
Executive Producer : Nouvelles Écoutes
Production and signature tune : Aurore Meyer-Mahieu
Production assistant : Gaïa Marty
Mixing : Charles de Cillia