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Steinem preaches a message to the privileged

It’s hard to believe that for 40 years Gloria Steinem has been preaching a message that privileged women are pathetic victims — and even harder to believe that anyone still takes her seriously (“A message about gender, then and now,” Page A1, March 21). This was especially glaring given the juxtaposition of the front-page article about Steinem with one about single mothers trying to make their way in a world where the economics do not work for them (“Crunch hits single mothers hard”).

Steinem’s feminist views have always seemed to be directed to women complaining about what they should be called, and have been expressed with silly symbols such as “Take Your Daughter to Work Day,” rather than being aimed at the woman who wonders whether she can pay the gas bill and buy groceries with this week’s paycheck.

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I do not know where Steinem has been over the last 40 years, but in my world and those of many of the rest of us, there is no descriptive adjective for “woman” doctors any more than a woman poet is dubbed a poetess. We have to move the focus past Steinem, Sheryl Sandberg, Marissa Mayer and others endowed with manifold means and support women just struggling to get by.

Martha Byington


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