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Gloria Steinem in Fort Lauderdale Proves You're All Feminists

There are few words as loaded as the word "feminist." Unless you want to be perceived as a no-armpit-shaving militant lesbian liberal when you define yourself, dropping this f-bomb has oddly become somewhat of a brave thing to do. Like when you're around aggressive vegans who scorn carnivores, people think that feminists are out to castrate all men in their paths. Little do they know that they, themselves, are probably feminists. 

Do you believe in equal pay? Do you believe in contraception? Do you see the females in your life as your equals? Yes? Well that's it then. You're a feminist. It's not about anger, it's not about leg hair, and it's not about hating men. It's about equality.

No one understands this more than Gloria Steinem who spoke in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday. She embodies the opposite look of a stereotypical feminist. This is a woman beautiful enough to have gone undercover as a Playboy Bunny, and smart enough to have written an article for Esquire about women's social injustice a year before The Feminine Mystique came out. But perhaps feeling the need to discuss her looks at all is a symptom of so many problems women still face today.

For the 40th anniversary of Ms. Magazine (cofounded by Steinem) Wonder Woman, feminism embodied, graces the cover. A warrior woman with the lasso of truth -- oh the things she could accomplish in Washington with that lasso.

Steinem is like a Wonder Woman herself. One of the greatest feminist pioneers and the subject of HBO's amazing documentary, Gloria: In Her Own Words, she is currently touring Florida encouraging voters to vote against Florida's Amendment 6, known as the Florida Abortion Amendment. It prohibits the use of public funds for abortions except as required by federal law and to save the mother's life. Additionally, the measure stipulates that the state constitution cannot be interpreted to include broader rights to abortion than those contained in the United States Constitution. It basically allows Florida to flip the bird to the Supreme Court in regard to abortion.

And while opposing Amendment 6, as well as Amendment 8 (which would fundamentally allow tax payer money to go to religious organizations), Steinem talked at length about an underlying political issue: Voter suppression.

She relayed some of the stories she was told about how Florida voters in the 2000 election were disenfranchised. "One of my big regrets was not coming back to Florida in 2000 and standing up for the recount. I don't know if I could've made a difference, but the only way to be effective is to behave as if everything you do matters, because we have no idea what actually will."

She explained that part of the reason Republicans began to put so much money towards negative ads was so they could turn off voters from politics. If you make voters hate politicians -- they won't vote.

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Tana Velen

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