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About Gloria Feldt
Gloria Feldt, the CEO of Planned Parenthood from 1996-2005, is a bestselling author and life-long feminist activist. Raised by Jewish immigrants in rural Texas, Gloria became a teen mom at 16 and had three children by the time she was 20. After the birth of her third child, she decided to pursue her dream of getting a college degree. The pursuit of education ended up completely altering her life path.
Join us for the latest episode of All About Change as Gloria discusses her career – empowering women of all ages and how we can continue to rally forces even as the recent overturn of Roe v. Wade threatens to unravel years of progress.
Gloria Feldt: Yes, you can make a difference. that’s exactly what we saw in Kansas.
Jay VO: hi, I’m Jay Ruderman and welcome to All About Change: a podcast, showcasing individuals who leverage the hardships that have been thrown at them to better other people’s lives.
This is all wrong. I say put mental health first because… I stand before you, not as an expert, but as a concerned citizen.
Jay VO: Today on our show, Gloria Feldt
Gloria Feldt: Our institutions were designed by men for men who had women at home taking care of the kids and the family.
Jay VO: Gloria is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and an acclaimed expert on women, power, and leadership.
Gloria Feldt: Abortion has never been about abortion. Birth control arguments have never been about birth control. They are about whether women will have an equal place in the world.
Jay VO: Raised by Jewish Immigrants in rural Texas, Gloria became a teen mom at 16 and had three children by the time she was 20. 4 months after the birth of her third child, she started a new path. She enrolled in community college. One of her final collegiate projects involved researching the Planned Parenthood organization.
Gloria Feldt: and 30 years later, I retired as the national president.
Jay VO: Gloria grew Planned Parenthood into the powerful nonprofit that you see today. Among her many accomplishments, she was the architect behind getting insurance companies to cover contraception.
Gloria Feldt: Don’t wait and just try to fight back bad legislation. Write your own legislation that sets up a world as you want it to be.
Jay VO: Today, At 80 years old, Gloria is still as passionate and active as ever. She is cofounder and president of Take The Lead, promoting female leadership across all sectors. The recent Dobbs decision, threatening to unravel years of progress, makes our conversation today all the more urgent and timely.
Gloria Feldt: Hey, that could be me, That could be my daughter, that could be, my wife, that could be, you know, a niece or somebody that I really care about. It is unfortunate that we had to wait this long for people to wake up, but I do believe they are waking up.
(Dobbs decision “We won’t go back” reaction audio)
Jay Ruderman: Gloria, thank you so much for being our guest on all About change, especially at this momentous time in the history of our nation. In light of the Dobbs case, but I thought maybe we would start out with your personal background.
You grew up, as a young Jewish girl in the Bible Belt in west Texas. Did that lead you towards, having an infinity for civil rights for others?
Gloria Feldt: No question about it. Absolutely. I believe that to this day, I think it’s one of the greatest gifts that I could have possibly had. And also for giving me a certain kind of courage. It takes courage to stand up for what you believe when you’re not the majority. And I had to hone those muscles. And that also stood me in good stead in fighting for reproductive justice and rights.
Often this, when I’m making speeches to Jewish audiences, the title of my speech is there was No temple in Temple. Temple was the name of the town where I was born. There were a few Jewish families there, but not many
And I went to high school in a town where we were the only jewish family, and I hated it. At the time, I hated being different, you know, what does a teenager want? Right?
It turned out as I got to be an adult, I realized what a gift it was to know what it felt like to be the other, to be it was a gift because it gave me empathy for other people who had been disregarded, disrespected, or in a, in in, some way or another discriminated against.
As I began studying judaism as an adult and really got in touch with the social justice values of judaism, I became much more committed to it and to raising my children in the Jewish faith. Uh, their, their father was not Jewish, but, I was very involved in the synagogue in West Texas, 60 families in a hundred mile radius, you know. Uh, but, but we were there.
Jay Ruderman: You were a very, very young mother. You had your first child when you were 15.
Gloria Feldt: I was barely 16, but yes. Mm-hmm.
Jay Ruderman: Can you talk about your decisions at that time and how you became such a young mother?
Gloria Feldt: how does anybody become a mother? Right. My father, bless his heart, gave me a book about it, but my mother never said one word and I didn’t really I didn’t really understand, as I think many young people grow up not understanding. Their bodies and understanding the sexuality and sexual desire and how, how, you need to make wise choices about what you do. And it was the 1950s and there was no really reliable birth control. I, was a normal kid and you know, I had a boyfriend who was a normal boy and how does it happen? That’s how it happens. And I, I think that it’s really wonderful that today, while there’s still is more pregnancy among younger people than should be, the rate has gone very far down thanks to more information that’s available to them on the web, even if they don’t have parents who talk to them about sex. But also, uh, more reliable birth control and more understanding of girls have much more vision about what they can be and do with their lives. I didn’t, have that. Although my father always told me, “You can do anything, your pretty little head desires,” the women I saw didn’t really seem to think they had agency over their lives and their decisions. The role models, of women didn’t really teach me that I could or should have a vision for myself beyond being a wife and mother. So was it a choice? I thought So but you know, maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t. maybe it was that I was following the cultural cues.
Jay Ruderman: You went on to become the CEO of parenthood. You have written many books, you’re a sought after keynote speaker, and most importantly you are an activist with an incredible track record. Can you help us connect the dots of your journey from mother to advocate?)
Gloria Feldt: Well, it’s actually very symmetrical it’s a set of values that really is authentic and consistent and comes from a place of understanding the real world situations of real world women and wanting to help them. After I had my third child, it was like a light bulb went off in my head and I realized that
First of all, I had always been a pretty smart kid and I liked to study and I liked to learn, so I decided I wanted to go back to, I wanted to start college. So I, i, started to college when my, when my youngest was four months old, and it took me 12 years to finish. And during that time period, I both was able to start some professional work and also to get involved in community service work. The first thing that I did was I got involved in in some civil rights organizations and a number of interfaith organizations as well. I was living in odessa, Texas by this time, I learned a couple of things from the civil rights movement and one was that people working together can change anything, and you don’t have to have formal power to do that. You don’t have to have a lot of money to do that, but you have to be willing to take risks and have the courage to talk about it, and you have to work together. The other thing that I noticed was that the women were doing all of the frontline work and the men were getting all the leadership positions and all the credit. And I thought to myself at the time, Hey, wait a minute, if there are civil rights, then women must have them too.
And that was when I began to get this realization that there were a lot of things in this world that were not necessarily fair to women. And honestly, I had grown up drinking the, Kool-Aid, believing that the, the, you know, that, that, a woman’s role was to be the support system for everybody else. And, you know, you wanted to live behind the picket fence and. A bunch of children and take care of your husband and you know, be susie homemaker, which i, all of which I, learned how to do. But it turned out it wasn’t quite as gratifying as I thought it might be.
As I finished my degree, I was serendipitously offered a position as executive director of a small fledgling Planned Parenthood affiliate in West Texas 17 big rural counties and one or two cities that could have been called cities.
I had planned on being a high school social studies teacher. Frankly, because, as I was growing up, women could be teachers, nurses, or secretaries, and that was about it. So I, couldn’t type and I didn’t like the sight of blood, so I decided teaching would be the thing for me. So I was serendipitously offered this position at just about the time that I was planning to start looking for a teaching job. And I thought, well, it sounded kind of interesting. I’d do it for a few years And 30 years later, I retired as the national president.
Jay Ruderman: Wow that’s incredible.
Gloria Feldt: Little did I know. Nor would I have known that it was actually a perfect fit for me. I had never imagined myself being the CEO of anything. But it turned out that I just had the right kind of brain for that work and I really loved movement building. And then after I left Planned Parenthood, I started another non-profit organization to get women to parity in leadership within my lifetime, because I believe if we don’t have equal pay, equal power and equal positions, we’ll keep fighting those same battles over and over and over again. As you can see, we are fighting them today.
(Abortion Clinic bombing audio)
Jay Ruderman: When you took over Planned Parenthood. There was real danger invloved. I mean, clinics were bombed, people were killed. what was it like to build an organization while at the same time receiving personal threats?
Bill Clinton: I want to emphasize again, as I had to do just a few days ago, that acts of violence against people who are trying to exercise that constitutional rights are acts of terror. (Abortion Bombing New Audio)
Gloria Feldt: I don’t even know how to describe this at this point. You know, I look back on it and I think, my goodness, how in the world, I was very fortunate to have a spouse who had the kind of courage that you have to have in situations like that. And he literally helped me know how to how to muster that courage and how to stand up for what you believe no matter what else was going on in the world. the moral of that is you can’t go it alone. You have to have a support system, number one. The second thing that I realized when I became the national President of planned parenthood – in order for people to refrain from being, just demoralized by what’s going on in the present world, it’s important to help them think about, okay, well why are we here? When we look back 25 years from now, what do we want to have accomplished? And so that we can think on that level of, all right, how are we gonna solve this problem? Not how are we going to, you know, how are we going to hunker down and just survive it? So you have to get outta survival mode. and those were the kinds of things that, that I learned from that time. And I was always just so inspired by the courage of the clinic staff.
I mean, I there would be days that I would take bagels and donuts and things, you know, to try to thinking I was going to, you know, buck them up and then just look at me like, hey, we got work to do,
My Choice, My Body”)
Track 1: The idea that our rights can be taken away. It’s like I’m shaking. It makes me, it makes me sick.
Jay Ruderman: Did you ever think when you were running Planned Parenthood that, that we would come to this day where Roe was overturned?
Gloria Feldt: I actually wrote a book about it, and it wasn’t, uh, intentionally predictive of it, but it, did lay out exactly where we were in 2004 and how it could be possible for the groups that were aligned in opposition to reproductive rights and how they could make that happen. And I also laid out a roadmap for not letting it happen. The human mind is, Much better wired to much more closely wired to respond to crisis than it is to be proactive. And I feel that that is where the movement fell down terribly. I had kind of turned the ship around and we were at the point where we actually were doing a lot of proactive legislation. We got contraceptive coverage by insurance plans. We had, uh, plan b, emergency contraception approved and available in, in, every state. We made a lot of advances. But as soon as you don’t have that kind of a forward looking agenda, you’ll get pushed back. And that’s what happened over And over again. And honestly, I think that one of the things that happens in a movement also is that there is a tendency to to get into survival mode. And also because they can raise a lot more money on being the victims than they can on having this, forward looking agenda. And that’s unfortunate as it’s for the long term a very, very, harmful strategy ultimately for the women and and families of the country. And it was at that point that I concluded if, if I really wanted to solve the problem of that backsliding, that it would be important for me to put what energy and time I had left into getting full equality and parity for women in positions of leadership. So that we could stop fighting these same battles over and over again. And so that it would become more of a given that women should have equal rights. And what’s very different today is that because of the availability of contraceptives, because we’ve had two generations of women now who have been able to plan and space their children, in their own responsible way, they have been able to get an education, they have been able to build careers. There are many women now in powerful executive positions, and those women need to stand up. Those women need to to put their companies on the forefront of taking positions as for the most part, companies have never done. this is, this is a moment what’s gonna test them. So the book that I mentioned to you is called The Ware on Choice, and the name of the book I would like to give you the, the name of is Intentioning, it’s my most recent book, Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take The Lead for (Everyone’s) Good These books are all available any place you get books.
Jay Ruderman: I’d like you to talk a little bit about the organization that you co-founded. Called Take The Lead elevating, women in positions of power and why that’s so vital for our future.
Gloria Feldt_ Embrace Our Power As Women: I was a teen mom by the time I was 20. I had married my high school sweetheart. We had three children, and then I sort of woke up. but I tell you that because I think it’s important to understand that what we’re talking about with Take the Lead is not just for women who are privileged. Or Have opportunities to go to elite universities. It’s really for everyone.
(Take the Lead Gloria Feldt Speech Audio)
Gloria Feldt: from a purely, uh, purely economic perspective, one of the things that most interested me when I started studying – why had we opened doors and changed laws and yet women were so far from parity in the top leadership positions across every single sector. And when I started studying it, we were half of the workforce, but 18% of the top leadership. , and that was true wherever you looked, whether it was politics, big companies, little companies, entrepreneurship, it didn’t matter. I had to come to terms with the fact number one, that we all grow up in the same culture. So women ingest a lot of the same values, a lot of the same biases that that men grow up with. And it does things to our heads and women. were, were very, ambivalent about, acknowledging that they had power or seeing that they had power. There was just an ambivalence around owning and claiming power, and I had to help them know that it power is like a hammer. you can build something with or you can break something apart. So it’s what you do with it that counts. . Women have born the broad of many negative aspects of power over the years. So no wonder so many women would say, Well, I don’t like that idea. But as soon as I would get them to realize that it really had no attributes, and that in fact if they would shift thinking about power from power over you to having the power to having the power to make life better for yourself, your family, your community, the world. I was like, masks would fall off of their faces and they’d say, Well, I want that kind of power. So then as I was developing the curriculum that i, I developed, um, for Take the Lead that is form forms the basis of the training and coaching that we do, I realized that we had to start by helping women shift the, their thinking about the paradigm of power and what power actually means. and to be able to analyze the points of power that they have, that, they really don’t realize sometimes that they have, whether it’s knowledge power, whether it’s positional power, whether it’s, uh, you know, what, what money, power, whatever it might be. You have to first realize what you have and acknowledge it and what, and the value that you can bring to any endeavor. And then you need very specific tools and skills in order to operationalize that in a world that wasn’t designed by you, for you. you, know, our institutions were designed by men for men who had women at home taking care of the kids and the family. So it’s functional. It was functional at one time, but it’s not so functional anymore in families where for the most part, there are two earners. And it’s a moment of opportunity for change and Just shifting that thinking. It’s more of a mindset, uh, that we do with, with Take the Lead. we help women know the power they have, know how to use it in ways that are positive, that they feel good about, authentic, about, confident about, and, uh, be able to identify what their own highest intentions are. and, they create strategic leadership action plans for themselves, once I saw that it made such a difference for women to have this, your basic movement builder, I realized that I could only reach so many people as an individual, that we needed to have an organization. And so that’s when I joined with a co-founder and we started to Take the Lead, we are celebrating our eight years right now.
Jay Ruderman: I saw yesterday that Eli Lilly, the drug company, which is the largest employer in indiana, essentially said, well, because of the change in law, we’re gonna have to move our business to other places. What role do you think corporate leaders and women corporate leaders especially, should take in speaking out against or in favor of issues that society is facing in real time?
Gloria Feldt: I’m so glad you mentioned the Eli Lilly example because they have had a very robust gender equality program within the company for maybe a decade or so, they first recognized that they had to be able to speak authentically to their clients, their customers. And in order to do that, they had to really take on the issue of gender equality And gender parity. And then that also played out in terms of their leadership, their, you know, their, their hiring practices, their promotion practices. So they’re a company that has over a number of years really implemented many of the kinds of, systemic changes that need to be made in companies in general. And the economic power is there. And incidentally, not so coincidentally, the bottom line says a lot. in america, in a capitalistic society, Companies that have more women in their leadership simply are more profitable. They are, you know, the cultures are more appreciated by their employees. And it’s not that women are better than men. It is that we have been socialized differently. And now today that different socialization is actually positive for women. And, so women bring these qualities that have been acculturated into us, not hardwired acculturated into us. And we bring those qualities and it makes for a better, more profitable company. So.. It all makes sense. Uh, we are seeing that people are gravitating toward the states where, where, uh, they’re, they’re saying at least that they’re going to gravitate toward the states where, uh, where there are reproductive rights and freedoms. I, I really thought that their statement was very respectful of the various points of view. You know, it starts out by saying, acknowledging that it’s a contentious issue and that there are people with many different points of view. But the bottom line is that as a healthcare company, they have to keep the best interests of their patients and clients at heart. don’t underestimate the potential power of companies to make a change, uh, for the better they’re going to have, They are not going to be able to get away without taking a position now.
Jay Ruderman: Roe was passed by the Supreme court in 1973. In 1974, you became the head of Planned Parenthood, and I saw an interview that you did where you, where you said, you know, the people at planned Parenthood, their attitude was sort of like, well, we won. It’s over. Advocates sometimes can become complacent and, and I think what you’re, what you’re essentially saying is never become complacent, because things can change very. quickly.
Gloria Feldt: I call that the wages of winning. And it happens with every social movement. as soon as, as soon as they, they’ve won, or at least won a certain amount, the win goes out of their sales. And it’s harder to get people activated. Our minds are hardwired to respond to, you know, to anger as opposed to vision for a positive future. So what I’m encouraging people to do is to start with the vision for the positive future and then build toward that. Because you can have aspiration energy as well as anger energy, it just takes a lot more work to get that aspiration energy going. You can never, never, never think you have won. You always need to be the insurgent. And by that I mean you always need to be having a vibrant forward looking agenda, call it fighting forward instead of fighting back.
Jay Ruderman: and you talked about, um, that there was a period of time where the government was putting a lot of money into supplying contraception, which at this point maybe at threat.
Gloria Feldt: One of the most disturbing things about what’s happening today is that it’s not only the Dobbs decision, which it overturned Roe v. Wade, that gave women the right to decide whether or when to have children with regard to abortion. That case was decided based on the same principles of the right to privacy that gave us the right to birth control in 1965. In the case of Griswold versus Connecticut, uh, it’s the same, uh, logic that also has been used to support, gay rights and same sex So people need to understand what’s at stake here. And what’s at stake is whether we will be able to make our own childbearing decisions at all, without government interference and that is, That is huge. That is really huge. And I think that, that, the recent vote in Kansas in which the, ballot initiative that would have codified outlawing abortion in the state’s constitution failed. And I think it’s because people are suddenly waking up and realizing, Hey, that could be me, That could be my daughter, that could be, my wife, that could be, you know, a niece or somebody that I really care about, who finds herself in a very difficult situation, whatever the circumstances might be. It’s basically nobody’s business. .It is unfortunate that we had to wait this long for people to wake up, but I do believe they are waking up.
Jay Ruderman: It seems like there could be a domino effect at this time. Do you see a threat to all of these other rights that we have come to accept as Americans?
Gloria Feldt: Clarence thomas, Justice Thomas literally wrote that into his opinion that now that we’ve overturned Roe, now we’re going to go after contraception and, same sex marriage. So yes. These are all threatened. The consequences are so immense for the whole social fabric of the country. For example, what’s the impact on the other privacy rights, like, privacy of your medical information?
The HIPAA laws, what are the, implications for, apps, that women may use to track their periods?
Now that having been said, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was right as she so often was that it would’ve been better if reproductive rights had been decided based on the 14th amendment in equal protection under the law.
Jay Ruderman: So you’re saying that, the, um, legal justification for all these rights that we’re talking about, which is built on a, on an inferred right to privacy, should have ideally been decided differently and based on equality.
Gloria Feldt: That is my opinion. Yes. And as I said, that was one of the things that Ruth Bader Ginsburg often, often commented on that, the concept of privacy is not as strong, I guess you could say, as a basic civil right.
But at the time that Griswold and Roe were decided, there had been no gender equality cases for them to use as stare decisis. And you know, the court likes to build on past precedent. So the precedent that they had and the precedent that they primarily used, although they did allude to the 14th Amendment, but the precedent that they used primarily was this idea of the constitution having giving us the right to privacy. I think it was Justice Brandeis who first, who first talked about it. And, and he said that the, the, first liberty that we all should have is the right to be left alone. And, and then that got built on over the next century.
Jay Ruderman: Right.
What happens in, a case like this where you have a Supreme Court that’s voting to restrict the rights of Americans, where most Americans don’t agree with these restrictions, What would you recommend an activist do at this point?
Gloria Feldt: There’s just no substitute for being deeply engaged in civic life. People don’t always know exactly how they can have an impact. and they, and they have been taught by politicians who want them not to be involved. They have. taught to be cynical about politics and to feel like they can’t make a difference. But yes, you can. Yes, you can make a difference. that’s exactly what we saw in Kansas. , if everyone will simply take that as an object lesson in what you have to do, this, these are the principles of movement building. , You identify the other people who believe as you do, who. share your values, who, who have a vision of, of of a world, of justice that you, that you hold in your in your mind and your heart, and you have the courage to actually talk about these issues, publically .Define the issues, define the message, and then you take action you organize, you you get together with people, you have a strategy. Personally I believe that the most important strategy right now is twofold. Number one is to have a very, very proactive policy agenda.
In other words, don’t wait and just try to fight back bad legislation. Write your own legislation that sets up a world as you want it to be. So start with that. Be proactive. Be define the terms, define the issues. Don’t let the other people define them for you. . Then the second piece of it is that, there is no substitute for people actually getting out and voting and voting in an educated way. Educate yourself about where the candidates stand and vote. Make sure that you are registered to vote. Make sure that you know where to vote. and how to vote because there have been so many new laws passed in the last four years that are aimed at depressing the vote. So it’s up to us as citizens to know how to make sure.
We’re registered and we know how to vote, there are websites that will show you exactly.
You can find this so easily now from so many different places. And then you can align with organizations that share. the goals that you have. and they will help you they will help you know how to be a, an active citizen and how to actually make a difference. It’s very hard to do as an individual. You really need to gather. And I think, you know, there, again, there, there are some Jewish values there about individuals can do a lot, but you have to be part of a community also. exactly, There’s not a dichotomy between the two. You have to be doing both all the time.
Jay Ruderman: Right.
You’ve talked about how the attack on abortion is not always about abortion, it’s an attack on women in general and, and an attack on denying women equality in society. Can you expand on that?
Gloria Feldt: Abortion has never been about abortion. Birth control arguments have never been about birth control. They are about whether women will have an equal place in the world.
Because if you cannot have autonomy over your own body, you cannot be an equal citizen in any other respect. You know, that term barefoot and pregnant. it all started at a rotary club meeting in Arkansas when a member of the state legislature said, Well, we don’t have any, This was in the 1950s. He said, Well, we don’t have any of those uppity women around here. If one of our women gets to uppity, we just give her another cow to milk and we keep her barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. And it got a big uproarious laugh in the 1950s, just as the feminist movement was starting to resurge. I think that is the best example. We have a society that that has historically been defined by men, for men, and people don’t relinquish power easily, but the men who are really smart these days understand that actually it’s better for their family. If women have equal pay. It’s better for their family if everybody has access to the healthcare including reproductive healthcare that they need so that they can have children when they’re prepared to take care of them. And so I think we’re at a turning point and because we’re at a turning point, the reaction is more vicious than ever. The bible says women should be subservient to their husbands. Right? You’re gonna hear that in some places. And so that, I mean, that’s the underlying thread of a patriarchal society that is, is, kind of, may not be on his last legs, but it’s on some legs that are a little shaky right now. And, uh, so there’s a, there’s a reaction.
Jay Ruderman: In America, Are we behind the rest of the world
Gloria Feldt: Oh my goodness. Yes. Yeah.
Jay Ruderman: And, and why, why, is that?
Gloria Feldt: one is the structural reason, and one is the cultural reason. The diversity of this country is in my mind a great benefit. It makes this country much richer. All four of my grandparents came here from Eastern europe looking for a different life. a better life. And that energy of the, you know, of the, of the bringing in different cultures and different, different faiths and different, you know, all kinds of ethnicities is really what has made America the vibrant powerhouse that it is. But when you have been the group in power and you’re feeling that power slipping away from you, it doesn’t feel so good. And people just don’t relinquish it very easily. And the people who’ve had it, let’s face it, have been white Christian men. And so that gets me to the other piece of this, which is, that, there is a, uh, strain, and I don’t wanna paint everybody with this brush, but there is certainly a strain of uh, the, of the, fundamentalist right That clings to that so-called traditional idea of subservient women, and dominant men in the culture. As they say, culture, each strategy for lunch, I mean, is really hard to change a culture while you’re living in it and there is also the process of having a pluralistic democracy with a constitutional democracy has resulted in a political system where a loud minority can have influence beyond its numbers. You know, the squeaky wheel gets greased. And so that’s on us. That’s on the rest of us.
WATCH_ Oklahoma lawmakers debate bill that would ban nearly all abortions _ May 19, 2022: I’ve said it before when the story was shared, we cannot legislate regret. We can’t, what she may regret, another person may not, but she had the choice. We cannot take the choice away.
Gloria Feldt: I think that we have to start demanding civility in these conversations. Those of us who do believe in the idea of a healthy, robust, diverse society uh, Uh, those of us who believe in that, we have to be willing to stand up for it and not let those other loud voices drown us out. I feel like I’m sounding like a one note, uh, person, but it really comes down to being willing to identify what you believe and stand up for it and join with other people with whom you share those, those beliefs and values.
Kansas_ celebrations after voters uphold right to abortion: I’m super proud to be from Kansas tonight, and I feel like my state just showed up and boldly told me that they are gonna take care of me and my female friends and everyone that can get pregnant in the state of Kansas. We are protected tonight.
(Kansas Ballot initiative reaction)
Gloria Feldt: I don’t know any other way. I, could despair, but I don’t believe that despair gets you very far. We’ve never lived through this kind of world changing, pandemic. Those of us who are alive today, these things have happened in the world, but we haven’t lived through them before.
And so those moments of extreme disruption are the best moments, maybe the only moments we’ll have for quite a while to make big systemic changes. This is why I’m optimistic right now about the mission that I have of gender equality because I think if we really take this moment, we can make some big systemic changes that we’ve been wanting to make for decades because it’s going to be to the benefit of, our economy, and it’s going to be to the benefit of men and women and families. But you have to, you have to recognize that, and you have to be willing to seize that moment and not step back from it. And it’s can be very painful. Some people will just say, Well, I am moving to another country, or I’m just gonna move to the blue states, and I don’t want my daughters to go to college in states where they don’t have access to, equal rights. But I don’t think that’s the way to go. I mean, I think the way to go is you have to go through it. you have to engage, stand up, and you won’t win everything. But I’m a great believer in, you know, the old fashioned breaking bread with people. sit down, have coffee, have lunch, have dinner, have a potluck. People who do things like that tend to be able to get along across party lines and across other kinds of divides. I think we need to encourage that.
Jay Ruderman: Such wise words. Gloria, thank you so much for being my guest on all about change. You’ve really made a difference in our world and I really appreciate all your contributions to our country and our society. So thank you so much.
Gloria Feldt: Thank you, jay, for having me. And I I love your topic. It’s so timely. Everybody needs to be thinking about these issues, so thank you for giving me the opportunity.
Jay Ruderman: Thank you. Be well.
Gloria Feldt: All right, You too.
Jay VO: All About Change is a production of The Ruderman Family Foundation. This show is produced by Yochai Maital, Jackie Schwartz and Mijon Zulu.
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