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The Boston Globe

Lifestyle

Gloria Steinem’s message about gender, then and now

It has been 40 years since Gloria Steinem delivered the commencement address at Simmons College, and when the political activist and founder of Ms. magazine returns to the school on Friday to speak about feminism today, she’ll discuss issues that are as much in the spotlight now as they were in 1973 — maybe more so.

Steinem’s Boston visit comes at a time when many of society’s most charged topics still revolve around challenges faced by women. Whether it is Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and her new book urging working women to “Lean In,” or Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer’s ban on telecommuting, a decision that hits working mothers especially hard, or the culture’s interest in the complex lives of twentysomethings as portrayed in HBO’s “Girls,” the old issues linger.

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