Up | February 09, 2013
>>> on monday, the senate is scheduled to vote on whether to reauthorize the violence against women act . the vote comes after the house failed to reauthorize vila. the first time since the bill originally passed in 1994 , it was not reauthorized easily and with bipartisan support. the widespread and deserved outrage at the bill not being reauthorized san indication of how accustomed we've become to bills like this. it's easy to forget only a generation ago, ms magazine published a cover story in 1976 that was considered generally revolutionary. it was when women 's society tame to see violence against women as an issue to be addressed by policymakers. that is one of complete social transformations of how we view the world and feminists. a new documentary, called makers, women who make america. chronicles the history of the second amendment that led to epic levels of violence against women . mark quinn , former police officer , talks about how the document finally broke through.
>> it wasn't strong leadership and politicians. it wasn't police leaders or judges. it was the women 's movement which forced lawmakers and police executives to stand up and say enough is enough.
>> joining us now it's my great pleasure to introduce gloria steinem , co-funder of ms magazine . and marlo thomas , activist, actress and contributing to the huffington post.coming in and braving the weather.
>> i love the documentary. it's fantastic. there are bits of lost history . even though i have read chronicles in history of the feminist movement . one of the things that's striking to me is someone who now makes his living the day in and day out of politics. is it politics as we cover them on collision that can seem owe transactional. and the women 's movement at this moment was such a spiritual and psychological awakening, but it was something more than politics it was as actually a genuine revolution of consciousness. i'm curious when you think when the moment happened for you that your consciousness did change. marlo?
>> for me, i think it was the mail i got when i was doing "that girl." i was a single girl on television, i thought i was doing great. i knew i was the first single girl on television. i knew that was groundbreaking. what i didn't realize, the nature of what was happening to girls and women all over the country. when the mail started coming in instead of just saying i love your hairdo which is what some of them do, i would receive a letter, i'm 16 years old, i'm pregnant, i can't tell my father. where can i go? i'm 22 years old, my husband beats me and i have no job. where can i go? i was completely floored to be receiving this mail. i realized they were identifying with a young woman because they thought i was the only one. as i tried to find them places to go in 1966 , i realized there wasn't anyplace for them to go. not for legal information. not for safety. not for comfort. not for anything. and that politicized me.
>> that is fascinating. so you had this sudden window into the private lives of thousands of women across the country?
>> yes, yes.
>> and gloria, you talk in innmakers of kind of having a moment of consciousness and awakening. and i guess i thought of you as -- you know --
>> as always there?
>> exactly. you're so iconic, you thought, as soon as you can walk and talk.
>> the amazing thing for me is how long it took me to figure this out. because i was having all these experiences of being unable to get an apartment because landlords thought you couldn't pay, or if you could, you must be a prostitute. you know, i had great difficulty getting any kind of assignment that wasn't, you know, a stereo stereotypically a feminist. and guys would get all the assignments. somehow, i didn't take it seriously until a couple things happened. one was welfare was a huge issue, as it has continued to be. and i was working with the national welfare rights organization . and they did the first feminist analysis of social policy i'd ever seen because they compared the welfare system to a gigantic husband that looked under your bed to see if those are the shoes of another guy.
>> right, right.
>> and, you know, is this one of the many ways women have gotten leadership actually. disproportionately, women on welfare. and then i also went to cover an early hearing on abortion. because right before roe v. wade , the new york state legislature was trying to consider whether to liberalize the laws. so they invited 14 men, i think, and one nun to testify.
>> you can't make this stuff up. so a group of --
>> she was doing the real commenting.
>> so a group of early feminists had a hearing. said, wait a minute, let's hear from women who have really had this experience. in a church basement in the village, they had a hearing. as the girl reporter for "new york magazine" i went to cover it. and that was huge p.p
>> and you went from being a reporting reporting on this to being an activist/participant?
>> yeah, the guys who i was working with, seriously nice guys at "new york magazine." took me aside, after i wrote the piece about abortion, was beginning to wonder if one in three women has this experience how come it's illegal and dangerous. they took me aside and said, oh, gloria, don't get involved with these crazy women .
>> the craziness, the crazy women , one of the things fascinating about the documentary, it attracts the progress and the backlash. and in some ways it's kind of divided. i'm curious, when you watch the film, at some level, the progress is deniable. the help wanted sections divided into women wanted and men wanted to me, someone born in 1979 , after active feminism, this seems ridiculous, right. how could it be this way. in some ways it's undeniable. but in other ways are there's a high water mark reached in 1970s that feels very different than the politics. the equal rights amend three ways away from being ratified from the constitution. i found out in the documentary there was a law passed to subsidize child care under the nixon administration , vetoed by richard nixon , that seems like a distant, some other lost planet . and i'm curious how you view our progress, when you kind of look at it in toto, marlo, like where are we?
>> well, i think that -- i don't believe that there's a backlash. i think that there's a sort of taking for granted. you know? you have women that are running companies who have, i think, 17, 21 women are heads of fortune 500 companies. 21 out of 500. but there used to be zero. i remember when i was about 16, my father took me to washington. and he was very excited to take me to look at the senate gallery. i was only 16. i certainly wasn't what one would call a feminist. i don't think we even had the worried yet. and i looked down, i said to my father, daddy, there aren't any women . it was an observation. it was like a brooks brother ad. everybody had a chute and white shirt and tie. i couldn't get over it. now, there are 20 women in the senate. i mean, it's certainly not enough. but we are slowly making our way to where we belong. 20% is not 50%. which is what we should be. but i think the most important thing for us now is that we've become leaders.
>> that we get out of the middle and get out of the minority and take our right full place as leaders in business.
>> when you said numbers, if i asked you in 1978 what the version would be, what the 1978 of you would have answered. i'll hear