On Her 77th Birthday, 7 Things I’ve Learned From Gloria Steinem

When I first thought about writing a post to honor my friend Gloria Steinem’s 77th birthday I figured a quick Google search would yield some cool, applicable numerology about the “lucky number 7” to plug-in as an inspiring intro.

The first Google search result for the meaning of the number 77 sent me to Wikipedia. Turns out, “in certain numerological systems based on the English alphabet, the number 77 is associated with Jesus Christ.” Alternatively, “in the Islamic tradition, “77” figures prominently.”

But of course I’d learn while researching something pertaining to Gloria that my knee-jerk cultural association with the number 7 as lucky is deeply rooted in patriarchal religions from the East and West!  I’ve learned similar lessons so many times it no longer shocks me when Gloria tells audience members who ask about her faith, “Religion is politics in the sky. When God looks like the ruling class, we’re in deep shit.”

Indeed. And so it goes, learning things that should be common sense but are not because marginalized people have been denied our history and our original cultures and conditioned to distrust any innate survival instincts that manifest because that’s how kyriarchy is maintained.

I hadn’t made many of those connections when I showed up on Gloria Steinem’s doorstep four years ago to take care of her animals while she was away for the summer. I was moving to New York City to give up my life of speaking at colleges and feminist conferences to earn my keep in the movement the old-fashioned way: poorly paid grunt work. To make a long story short, Gloria eventually returned and informed me that what I’d been doing was called itinerant feminist organizing and I was part of a long line of women – Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Fannie Lou Hamer, and many more – who made their mark traveling from city to city to speak and lend a hand to local organizers. She encouraged me to continue in this noble line of work and even offered to let me stay with her for a while as I got my financial and social footing in the big city.

Yup, a very cool experience to live with Gloria Steinem for a bit and one that reporters and acquaintances alike love to romanticize and wonder about. In truth, it is an interesting story and not one I’m ready to tell in full  because I can’t possibly analyze and translate the lessons I’ve learned from this “feminist icon” just yet. But it does bother me that on days like today there will be blogs posts and articles that memorialize Gloria as if she’s already gone or as if she’s a one-dimensional gray photograph in a history book with a list of accomplishments in the side bar. Few of these will represent the very human, ever evolving woman who is constantly teaching, by words and deeds, how to live a life dedicated to making the world better for all people. So, on her 77th birthday, a few of the things I’ve picked up that daily influence my organizing, my worldview, my life:

1. Patriarchy is a relatively new mistake. If we think the world has always been run by and for men – mostly White and all of the colonizing sort – we assume that oppressing women and people of color is the natural order. I’d been so indoctrinated by this false history that it shook my whole world when Gloria spoke of egalitarian original cultures that honored and lived by the rule that both men and women have equal, necessary roles to play in society. For instance, the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) clan mothers, to this day, have the sole power to nominate the chiefs that go on to represent the tribe in the Grand Council. In other Iroquois Nations, the women alone controlled the food supply, meaning male warriors had to seek their permission for rations to take to the battlefield. Once you know to look for them, examples like these abound, allowing us to imagine our struggle for equality as one to turn the world back right side up!

2. “If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, but you think it’s a pig… it’s a pig.” Self explanatory enough – trust yourself, always. For many of us marginalized people, we’ve been taught to do just the opposite. This is what oppressive forces want and something we must resist with all of our being.

3. Ask the turtle. Via Donna Brazile, a story Gloria tells often: “While on a field trip in college with her geology class, [Gloria] discovered a giant snapping turtle that had climbed out of the river, up a dirt path, right to the edge of a road. Worried it would soon be run over, she wrestled the enormous reptile off the embankment and back down to the water. At that moment, her professor walked up and asked what in the world she was doing. With some pride, she told him. He said that the turtle had probably spent a month crawling up that long dirt path to safely lay its eggs in the mud on the side of the road and that she had destroyed all that effort with her “rescue.” This story informs every organizing effort I take to this day: always ask the communities you’re trying to “help” what really needs to be done and how or you’ll invariably do more harm than good.

4. Good ideas are not a finite resource. From board rooms to organizing meetings, it’s more common than not for people to fiercely protect their ideas for fear of not receiving credit. But in reality, no one has the capacity to effectively enact every single idea they have. I’ve been privileged to watch Gloria share ideas freely with other organizers, lending her name to them if it helps but perfectly willing to hand them over without a mention if it doesn’t. More importantly, she is constantly introducing people to one another who can combine resources to make ideas come to fruition. I’ve learned that the best thing an organizer can do is help others brainstorm, act as a support where and when they can, and step away when they can’t.

5. Real intergenerational relationships are possible but only if both parties are equal. With more than fifty years between us and more than a thousand miles between me and my biological family, it was easy for me to slip into imagining Gloria as my adopted grandmother. Or, if I wasn’t thinking that, she was obviously my mentor, teaching me how to be an effective feminist organizer. She made a habit of gently correcting me: we’re friends, colleagues, and co-conspirators. She taught me that pasting familial terms and the mentor label onto any relationship between people of different generation creates a power imbalance that insists the older person has everything to teach and the younger person everything to learn. How limiting that is, when you think about it, and this is probably the root of a lot of the intergenerational conflict within the feminist movement. Therefore, a fave Gloria quote: “We need to remember across generations that there is as much to learn as there is to teach.”

6. We all need “chosen family.” Some of us are blessed with a supportive, understanding biological family unit and others are not. But we all benefit from finding and connecting with others who simply get, to the very core, who we are. I’ve tried to follow Gloria’s example of building a small group of like-minded friends with whom I meet regularly to laugh, cry, organize, drink, and play. With bad news coming from every corner and patriarchs freaking out at our growing power, we really and truly do need our sisterhood.

7. Perhaps the only true sentences in the English language are those that begin with “I.” All humans, but especially female humans, connect best via personal stories. It’s our personal truths and experiences that inform our activism and as soon as we abandon the personal for academic or movement language, we lose the essence of what made us committed to social equality in the first place. Gloria taught me to stop talking if I find myself speaking in theories and return to what in my personal story made me connect with whatever I’m talking about.

There’s much more I’ve learned, I’m sure, but this blog post is long enough as it is! So for today, happy, happy, birthday Gloria – here’s to many more years, mutual learning, and stories!



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73 responses to “On Her 77th Birthday, 7 Things I’ve Learned From Gloria Steinem

  1. Loove the photo Shelby! AND the turtle story! Reminds me last night at Asia Society she talked about how the men at the very new New York Magazine gave her the highest compliment by saying she “wrote like a man.” And she was like, “Um, thank you!” “Approval junkie” is my new term. xo

  2. Rosario Dawson

    Please do write more. This was great to read. I’m sure I will read & share it again & again. It’s funny because I try to avoid using the word “I” in my language & especially my writing so as not to be so self centered in my communication & specifically to challenge me to think more of others. That’s left me swimming in theory & desperate to (learn how to) speak more from the heart…! Thank you for sharing these wisdoms you’ve “collected” over the years. These insights have already deeply impacted me. Happy birthday Gloria!

  3. You have given my a gift for my own birthday. Thank you. Hope to meet you one day, now that we are fellow New Yorkers. I have been a fan of you, and of course of Gloria, from afar.

    • prairie pond

      What a wonderful post honoring a wonderful woman. I remember when she spoke at my college, Ft. Hays State University in Kansas, over 35 years ago. I was the student body president, the first woman in that position, so I got the honor of picking her up at the airport and escorting her that evening. That night profoundly changed the life of this farm girl and launched me as activist, something I have retreated from the past few years.

      This post, so many years later, makes me want to get back in the activist and organizing game! Rock on, sisters. Rock on.

  4. Pingback: Celebrate Gloria Steinem « Herstory

  5. Such a wonderful post! So jealous of your house sitting experience.

  6. Player

    Lol, your petition is so ridiculous… Getting all wet about a little booty-slapping but not even mentioning the rest of the violence in that game. So its wrong to slap, but its very right to kill all those characters in the game???

    America is one of the morally most twisted and bigot countries there is. I can only laugh or break out in tears seeing your yountry killing people all over the world and you fight against a little harmless fun… . Twisted. ill-minded.

    • Michael

      Her petition is pretty stupid. All it’s doing is giving the stupid game attention and increasing sales. If She kept her mouth shut and ignored it the game would probably bomb since most gamers probably stopped caring about Duke Nukem years ago.

      But people like her don’t seem to understand or learn anything. The more attention you give to something you don’t like, the more attention it will get in the media.

      Instead they want to whine and throw tantrums about stupid games that aren’t even real.

  7. Butt Slapper

    Creating a fake petition to protest fake violence… excellent!

  8. Caio

    Sorry Shelby, but leave Duke Nukem in peace ok?
    it’s a game, a GAME
    are you out of your mind?
    serious, if you don’t like the game, it’s simple, don’t buy
    why don’t you fight for something really cool?

  9. Only posting to comment Shelby Knox is a dirty skank

    I bet those two hotties in the picture get fucked every day every night, they look like serious sluts to me.

  10. Only posting to comment Shelby Knox is a dirty skank

    especially the one on the left, Im totally going to rub my cock all night thinking about her.

  11. Duke Nukem

    Look, Knox. GTFO Get off of Duke Nukem. It’s a game that is a big joke. What the fuck is wrong with you? Like really, Do you even open your eyes to the million of other goddamn games out there that do worse to women? It’s not even a slap. You don’t even kidnap the woman. How about play the game before bitching your mouth off? I support the women’s rights, gay rights, and all that jazz. But I will NOT on any chance support this. This game is made for Adults and not young people. The game is supposed to be a joke. Men are turned to Pigs (Sure you get the joke there if not then wow). You’re making yourself look horrible. Whats your crappy thing have? 5000 signs over the billions of Gearbox fans? It’s been 13 years, Knox, You better leave them the heck alone. I didn’t spend 13 years of my life waiting on my favorite game series to make a new game. Kthx. Besides Remember the game Mass Effect? They had SEX scenes and it wasn’t even bad. Do you even play Video Games?

    • Michael

      She is a stupid bitch.

      • Anti-Knox

        Knowing there are morons like these really makes me ashamed to be the same gender as these people. Seriously. It’s a GAME. She should concentrate on improving the social standing of women, rather than no-lifing and posting about moronic subjects such as these.

  12. I_need_my_Duke

    Listen lady, you are fucking with something I’ve personally waited for 12 years to play. You are messing with one of my favorite past-times (video games, not beating women) You come off as a self-righteous feminist who thinks all men want to rape and beat her. Seriously, drop your silly petition and shut the fuck up. Let’s see here, by your retarded fucking logic…it’s okay for a game like say, Call of Duty to exist where your main goal is to shoot people in the face, and in the version “Call of Duty4: Modern Warfare” you are able to shoot and kill dogs in Pripyat, Russia. By your logic it’s perfectly fine to kill/injure someone in a video game, as long as they don’t have tits or a vagina right? Well that right there is sexist, that is a very sexist view slanting towards women that you spew all over thinking it’s important. Your petition will do NOTHING but garner more press+sales for Duke Nukem: Forever, by advertising the “Capture the Babe” mode for free Gearbox will be swimming in money that you earn them.

    Please shut your stupid fucking cunt face up and GTFO the internet back to the kitchen and make us all some goddamn sandwiches…..unless you need a little love tap to motivate you.

    Fuck you with the devil’s dick in hell you shitty whore.

  13. Jack on Crack

    1,000 bucks says this dumb cunt is a man hating Lezbo. Yo Shelby answer me this. Why is violence against men OK but violence against women is wrong? Would you get down on someone for shooting a girl in an FPS MP? Am I just supposed to let her kill me because she’s a girl? You’re a sexist cunt and you deserve to get bitch slapped for being so sexist.

  14. Duke Nukem

    Listen baby no need to get in a pmt pissy fit about a bit of bitch slapping

    im more than happy to dish some out to an ugly chick too so need to be hating


    UR A HORRIBLE PERSON SHELBY – WHO THE FUCK STILL SHOPS @ WALMART FOR VIDEO GAMES? – don’t just be an ass to be an ass – hope you catch pink eye

  16. CuntyWhore

    Shelby’s a cunty whore. I hope you get tittie cancer and die you slut ! ! !
    Yes yes, we all wish death upon you, and I’ll go to your funeral wearing a Duke Nukem shirt and bring to skanky ass stripper whores to dance around your casket. 🙂

  17. BabeSlapper

    UUUUUUU SUUUUUCCCCKKKK…..bcuz all chicks want Duke Nukem. Get over it.

  18. SlapAbitch

    You need a nice slap across the face. Hard.

  19. Well Intentioned, Misplaced Rage

    There’s a lot of comments that are hateful, and I’m happy you have a career as an activist. Good for you! 🙂

    In your article you indicated the following:
    “The Capture the Babe mode of the Duke Nukem game, which will be played primarily by young people, sends the message that physical and sexual violence against women is normal, acceptable, and even funny. It’s not – and we have to say so

    On the first point, “young people” – two points:
    1) you’re begging the question. How can you state it is young people playing it? Do you have facts or numbers?
    2) The game is rated for 17+ and to play online requires an account and that is generally paid for (on the MSFT Xbox Live) with a credit card. If a “young person” is playing it, then they are being supported by a parent who isn’t doing their job. Even if Walmart were to enforce ID to purchase these type of games, that parent would still be buying them for them.

    On the second bolded text, you must, since you’re an activist and must speak out on any perceived public objectification or violence against women.

    What about Maxim/Stuff/ all the magazines on the racks in WalMart that have scantily clad women on the front of them? It seems to me like you’re hopping on the wrong train.

    *IF* you were going to actually accomplish something here, your petition should instead be focused on retailers ENFORCING the ratings system on the games.

    The slings and insults won’t stop, mind you. The young people who want to play this that have good parents are gonna be PISSED.

  20. Jpoon

    Can’t wait to buy Duke Nukem just to spite your stupidity. The Political correctness in this country needs to end, this is a game for ADULTS not children and Walmart definitely won’t be putting it on the shelves for kids.

    Someone really needs to slap this woman!

  21. First Time Reader, First Time Poster

    You are the vilest piece of shit to ever grace the face of this planet. Your self righteous “feminist” attitude is exactly why gender stereotypes exist. Fuck you and everything you stand for. Stop whoring yourself to the “cause” only to garner attention to yourself. Your views on sexism and life are comparable to Rebecca Black’s singing ability. That is to say it should never be heard of again.

  22. You Would SUCK Duke's Nuts

    Look I know your a lez, and thats fine, but you KNOW that you would suck Duke’s nuts if you had a chance to be with a real man – not the Father that left you on the side of the road as a teenage broad.

  23. I hope they make mods of her for Duke Nukems Slap a Bitch mode. That be great.

  24. Sarah

    If she had a point about gamers being immature and steeped in misogyny she’d have a whole bunch of them trolling her page with slurs based off of female anatomy and threats of violence and rape. But of course, no one would actually get that upset because it’s just a game, so who cares if she made a small internet petition? Game developers don’t go back to beta because of a major retailer’s decision to carry the game unless the profit outweighs the dev costs.

    Ohhhhh yeah. Well, thanks for proving her 100% right, guys. *Really* glad you’re on my side. I mean it – thanks for representing all gamers for us in such a responsible, reasonable and logical way. So proud.

    • Only posting to comment Shelby Knox is a dirty skank

      But Sarah? Its Mother Fucking DUKE NUKEM! either way im just trying to Piss in this bitches panties, get her all gross sticky wet. If I were to have a logical conversation Id find much smarter person then Shelby Knox. She gets to Petition so I get to Petition-Petition. and eventually that leads to Pet Tits ons and then were practically having sex. :>O

  25. Sam

    Way to get up in arms about something that’s not even a big deal. How about you try to tackle real world issues that negatively affect women. How the salary gap between men and women is still far from equal and maybe the oppressed women in the middle east. You’re a hypocritical woman that only cares about her gender and could give a shit less about men (or so it seems). It’s okay for men to be kicked in the testicles in movies and killed in games, but all of a sudden a woman gets spanked in game and it’s such a fucking big deal? I guess… Maybe we should parent both sexes to respect each other (such a crazy idea, eh?), instead of trying to prevent the sale of a game that shouldn’t get into the hands of children anyway.

    Try dealing with real issues.

    Sarah, I only see a few people posting bullshit comments, the rest are reasonable. But if she were dumb enough to generalize the whole gaming industry based on a couple of posts, then she’s whatever these idiots referred to her as.

  26. Muhammad Ali

    Yo feminist bitch, fuck you. Duke Nukem is the shit. You feminist are all the same you accuse everyone and everything of discriminating against women. Go fucks yourself. You’d be better off doing porn bitch.

    • Dude really Comeon......

      Comeon if your going to troll her post don’t use Muhammad Ali’s name.
      moving on….
      I wish you women would go fight for women’s right in much need countries, not saying u.s don’t need women rights but some countries out there need it a way lot more than the u.s. Some countries women are treated like crap and making a petition to fight against it(in those countries) doesn’t really help them do it?

      Hey whats stoping Gearbox from just adding the mode a free dlc. I’m a gamer(male) too but posting negative comments on this page isn’t really helping gearbox case.

  27. Anonymous

    Shelby Knox, you should consider pulling your petition or at least update it with some counter-arguments because as of now, it makes no sense and it just angers the Duke Nukem community.

    Also, you may expect Internet groups from 4chan or somethingawful to launch attacks in the form of spam, DDoS attacks, hacking of your blog and who knows what else. They are also known for affecting real life as well, so the damage they can cause is not something to be neglected. Please consider the situation carefully.

    To be clear: this is not a threat, this is an advice and you should consider it.

    • Dude really Comeon......

      yea don’t screw with 4chan, your bound to get screw. Nice point with counter-arguments b/c she really need to put some up there , basically whats on there right now is really one sided. At least go on into details about the whole game and not just one part of it. You(Shelby) got some women up there(duke nukem petition) thinking that they(walmart&gearbox) are targeting the game towards “young men” and ppl are forgetting that the game is rated M(17+) which requires an id. I get underage kids could still obtain the game in some places, but still the game is meant for 17+/mature audience only.

      When is slapping a women on the butt deem violent? Maybe against her will. It seem you are taking things way out of context/ going apes for nothing. Hell if this game was anywhere near cluster revenge ,rapelay or etc I would totally be on your side

  28. Dear lady

    Lo Wang not like this petition or sticky bombs. Smell like dead baboon in here.

    • Wowwtw

      Comeon… your speaking in third person online in a thread/ whatever this it is, its freaking 2011 speak in person lol

  29. Akbar Intazar

    I have a message for you from someone you may know…

    “Go make me a sandwich …


  30. Nuken

    wasn’t even going to buy Duke Nukem- but you inspired me to! thanks 😀

  31. You spell my name wrong on the petition over, I just stop by to say hopefully we can get over our differences. You will be happy to know we have remove “capture the babe” mode from our game. To make it even better for every 100 games that sell we, Gearbox will donate $1 to charity for violence against women. Hope you have a nice day Ms. Knox

    Randy Pitchford
    CEO, Gearbox

  32. Jamey

    I think someone wants a little bit of dukes love? seems like someone likes it rough.

  33. ickmo

    Why I Outta…

  34. isha

    someone needs to get laid.

  35. Great post~ Happy birthday gloria!

  36. Better Yourself

    Getting irate and bitchy about a silly video game made for adults is worse for womenkind than the video game itself. But I guess that is what feminism is about now, always filling yourself with irrational indignance or undeserved pride.

  37. treasure mcleod

    im a girl and i think you had ur tounge too deep in the vagina but your trying to ban a VIDEOGAME. do something actully useful with your life seesh!

  38. A political party that shot into unarmed crowds at it’s ’68 convention, and built concentration camps for Jews, Asians, and Liberals? Who could argue with that kind of wisdom! Goooooo, Steinem!

  39. Weener Feener

    LOL women stupid

  40. Adela Rogers

    This spew of fulsome comments from smeg-filled mouths is truly indicative of a problem in our culture– that women are vilified, harassed, and attacked for expressing their opinions, by an intellectually-limited segment of miscreants who impute their own inadequacies and fear of “the other” onto society at large.

    Shelby, you are a heroine! I’d say to ignore the toxic-driven losers, but in fact it may be better if you attempt to maintain a “safe space” and simply delete all of their comments, as they surely add nothing to productive discourse.

    Keep up the great work.

    • No.

      “Harassed and attacked” for trying to spread lies, discord, and generally ignorant statements. She ignored FAR WORSE objects and promotes blatant sexism, as are you. Learn to back up your statements properly before posting such an ignorant paragraph.

  41. Anonymous7623112376

    right when u made a petition 2 STOP duke nukem… u ruined ur own life. ur petitioning for the wrong thing im sure half of these people dont even care about this mode, what they really want is duke’s penis, u distracted these poor ppl from slobbering upon duke’s penis, and ur paying the price. simple

  42. Lauren

    Hey Shelby.
    I just watched your documentary “The Education of Shelby Knox” on netflicks and it inspired me to google your name to see if you were up to anything now. I was excited to see you had a blog, I am bookmarking you, and I am stoked to read through it later on.
    The comments on this post made me sad, its strange that of all the things you have advocated for in the past and present, this one gets you this much negative (and illiterate) attention.
    I was impressed by your documentary because of how motivated, passionate and open minded you were about your causes at such an early age. I noted that the documentary is dated 2005, the year I graduated from high school, which makes me think we are about the same age.
    Although our causes are not identical, they are similar in many ways. I am a Canadian who strongly advocates educational reform in the Canadian school system, particularly in regards to Aboriginal education. I am faced with criticism for many reasons; the racism of many white Canadians, and the fact that I am not Aboriginal myself.
    Knowing that there are other passionate women out there willing to fight for what matters to them, and issues that others brush past or are too afraid to confront makes me feel even more motivated to continue.
    Thank you, I will be back!
    -Lauren, Edmonton Alberta Canada

  43. Jake Corleone

    Why try to stop people from playing a game they would really enjoy? Who are you to decide what is right or wrong? Especially because women are treated far worse in REAL LIFE than they ever would be in a Duke Nukem game. Why don’t you try and stop stuff like Playboy then? Or how about all the modern rap music that treats women like sex toys and whores? Instead you make a mountain out of a molehill and become overly-dramatic over a game that doesn’t even take itself seriously.

    If you want to start some movement, then put your head in the right place and go after the truly degrading issues. A video game that mostly adults will play is NOT one of them.

  44. Dantae Corleone

    Oh my god I’ve been waiting almost 14 years to play this game. I mean it’s a video game, and Duke Nukem is just a player that kills aliens and gets a lot of hoes. These are HOES not WOMEN there is a difference. Women get treated way worse in real life as Jake said above. Did you hear about that black man in Atlanta that kept a woman in a dog cage for months?? and is that degrading? yes and its cruelty. you think just cuz you can bust up some pussy from a hoe in the Duke Nukem game that it should be considered degrading women? psh. its called them being hoes and that they like Duke’s package. this is fictional and just a video game! CHILL OUT! >:O

  45. Player2

    Youre petition is ridiculous. You really think that a little slap on the ass of some girl that GIGGLES AFTER BEING SLAPPED is degrading. I will bet you 5000$ cash that my sister, who is 25 and not a gamer at all, will LOVE this game. As she loved the original duke nukem when we played it as kids. Grow up you moron, Duke Nukem Forever is going to be one of the greatest selling games of all time, and I will personally play it until my fingers fall off or until I have a heart attack from laughing so hard.
    And my other point is, who cares about a smack on the ass? I smack my girlfriends ass all the time and she loves it. If Duke were to punch the shit out of the babes to shut them up then yea, i would understand your anger, but its time to get over the fact that videogames will push the boundaries of right and wrong until the end of time.

    You wanna gripe about hitting women, go join the 25 crazy bitches complaining that peter beats up lois multiple times in family guy

  46. Sean R.

    Your petition against a video game is pathetic. As a former Air Force member I,as well as other service members, are disgusted that you waste your time petitioning against something so frivolous. Get a life Ms. Knox, and focus on things that are actually important in life.

  47. Dantrell

    Do you even know that what you are talking about is limited by your false sense of reality? Maybe if you studied just a little bit harder while in school you wouldn’t be blinded by these fallacies that have cast a cloud over your judgment. I once knew a woman like you who had everything she could ever want but in the end it meant nothing, because she never knew her true place in the grand scheme of things. Honestly, I think it’s time you stepped down off of your high horse and looked life square in the eyes.

    How embarrassing for you, someone who obviously has nothing better to do, to spread negative publicity and try to ban something so frivolous as a video game. Do you even realize how much time and effort it took to create? Over 10 years… I would love to see you bad-mouth their game in front of their faces. It will probably never happen though since you hide behind the internet making idiotic petitions about things in life that don’t even matter. I doubt very seriously you would say that to someones face. Just my thought. What do you think? Oh I am sorry you probably do not have a brain.

    I on the other hand will be happy to buy you a plane ticket to come here and see if you have the nerve to say that to someone I know.

  48. Jesus Christ

    Bitch i Been waiting 12 YEARS FOR THIS, YOU WILL NOT FUCK THIS UP FOR ME plus where else can i get duke nukem and a hello kitty BookBag in the same store, GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE WITH YOUR SHIRLEY TEMPLE HAIRDO

  49. Man-bear-pig

    Ignorance is the worst disease you can get, stupid. Good luck with you feminist bullshit. Play the game, or at least read up before acting like a piece of shit. and really..? It’s not women! it’s pixels! You are probably the dumbest living thing i’ve ever heard about.

  50. Honor R.

    On the subject of patriarchy… It reminded me of this talk I saw at TEDxSF last week about redefining the female orgasm:

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  53. slade666

    disgusting feminazis like that cunt should be cursed to die in the most heinous agony and have a bunch of blokes surround the bed and laugh at the cunt !!!!!!!!!

  54. Just saw the movie, and am glad to see you’ve stuck with feminine rights.

    “For instance, the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) clan mothers, to this day, have the sole power to nominate the chiefs ”
    Excellent point about patriarchy. Friedrich Engels made the important point that patriarchy really took off when private property did, as they wanted to make sure their estate passed down to their legitimate heirs.

    Healthy culture, in my view, has always been a movement toward treating people as equally important. Christianity upholds this very strongly sometimes, in the commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself” and in the love between Christ and the church as a model for marriage.

    Unfortunately, Christianity became Orthodox at the end of the 2nd century A.D. and became wrapped up in the Western power structures.

    I have hope that Christianity will reinvent itself in the future, move away from its Orthodox past, and reestablish connection with its more mystical beginnings. For instance, the Nag Hammadi LIbrary, discovered in Egypt in 1941, contained a text called “Treatise on Resurrection” that gave a symbolic rather than historical interpretation of Christ’s resurrection, claiming that the resurrection of Christ and his followers did not require a physical event–“We suffered with him, and we arose with him, and we went to heaven with him.” It goes on to give a beautiful account of the spiritual meaning of the resurrection–“What, then, is the resurrection? … It is no illusion, but it is truth! Indeed, it is more fitting to say the world is an illusion, rather than the resurrection which has come into being through our Lord the Savior, Jesus Christ. But what am I telling you now? Those who are living shall die. How do they live in an illusion? The rich have become poor, and the kings have been overthrown. Everything is prone to change. The world is an illusion! – lest, indeed, I rail at things to excess! But the resurrection does not have this aforesaid character, for it is the truth which stands firm.”

    It’s crazy that text existed in some Egyptian hut for 1900 years before our scholars found it again! But I’m hopeful it can provide the historical connection that allows Christianity to reboot, and undo the mistakes the orthodox Christians made in the centuries after the 2nd century A.D.

    Carl Jung is the writer who saved my faith, as he said the traditions of the Gnostic Christian writers survived in the West through forms such as alchemy, which, Jung claims, was really a spiritual exercise undertaken to reshape the mind of the practitioner to produce “psychological gold” rather than any realistic expectation of creating metallic gold.

    I see a rebooted Christianity as being a lot more tolerant toward others. I believe it should follow the words of Gandhi “Our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian,” and interpret the “Great Commission” to mean that Christians communicate and seek to learn from other faith traditions, as much as teach them about Christian ideas.

    Get someone to moderate these comments, too! I’m all for open discussion and free use of language, but these guys need to stay on topic!

  55. Also, wanted to share this Carl Jung quote:
    “If people can be educated to see the lowly side of their own natures, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and to love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance towards oneself can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures.”
    —Two Essays on Analytical Psychology: New Paths in Psychology, 1912

  56. HRH

    Shelby, I know you are a grown woman and can fend for yourself, but I feel the need to say something on behalf of all bloggers/activists/social media denizens.
    Wow, there are some amazingly inappropriate and completely awful things posted on here. It is perfectly ok to disagree (that is what makes the world an interesting place to live), but personally attacking someone on their own blog with profanity and such anger is way over the line. Shelby speaks her mind in her space, and if you don’t agree, then fine, just say why you don’t agree without attacking. It makes for a more intelligent conversation, and sometimes, you will get a lot more out of the exchange removing the anger and idiotic language. I am a woman, and I don’t agree with everything that Shelby posts, but she brings up interesting points that get my mind moving in different directions. It is a good exercise in mental stimulation. If you are that angry at her views or that violently opposed to her views, then for goodness sake, don’t burden yourself with logging on to her site or follow her on Twitter or whatever. The genius and the devil of our interconnected world is that we have access to just about everything all the time. It seems that we feel the need to vocalize loudly and without regard for social niceties at everything due to the fact that we can hide behind anonymity. It is becoming a disease. I am waiting patiently for the time when we just “change the channel” if we don’t care for something. You (and by you, I mean the general public) are just not important enough that every single one of your opinions/rants/attacks needs to be registered. Get over yourself, really.
    Shelby, thanks for the post. It is enlightening and interesting. I enjoyed reading the thoughtful and articulately worded entries on both sides because they bring a spark to the debate. Keep stirring the pot, and keep your voice strong.

  57. Ben

    Thank you sharing this, refreshing article.
    Just a question: Why describing yourself as a feminist, and requesting equality with men? Wouldn’t it be more accurate pretending you as an equalitarist/no gender?

  58. Pingback: Versatile blogger award! « Feminéma

  59. Didion

    [Off topic]: I’m writing because I’m a big fan — such a big fan, in fact, that I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award (see information here: http://feminema.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/versatile-blogger-award/). And I’m promising myself to comment more on your brilliant site, which I read religiously!


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