I Walk Out Of Gloria Steinem’s Graduation Address To Vassar Grads in 1970

As a sidebar to this story about Gloria Steinem, whom I now regard as a brilliant person, I attended my sister’s graduation at Vassar College in 1970 when I was thirteen. Gloria Steinem gave the address and voiced her feminist perspective on the Vietnam War, which she opposed with great fervor. Remember this was 1970 and the war was raging in full force at that time and causing deep divisions in the country, much worse than today.

But I did not agree with Ms. Steinem’s opinions so I walked out in the middle of her speech. My sister was furious and wanted my mother to give me a stern talking to but my mother told her I was old enough to have my own opinions about issues and that was that.

Unfortunately, my mother took sick some months later and died from cancer shortly after I turned sixteen. My sister raised me from the time I was fifteen so I can say without reservation that if there is anything my sister can’t do that a man can do, I can’t think of what it would be. So as I grew older I came to believe that while women are different than men, obviously, they are hardly inferior to men. Hence, I regard women as fully equal to men. But I did not always think that.

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/

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