Gloria Steinem Used A Colorful Word To Describe The Current Surge Of Political Activism

She says it's the most she's ever seen in her life.

Gloria Steinem has participated in her fair share of political activism — most prominently through her decades-long fight for women's rights. But, as she revealed Tuesday during her commencement address to graduates of New York City's School of Visual Arts, she's never seen anything quite like the protests happening now.

Steinem describes this as a "time of division," pointing to the election of Donald Trump and reminding the crowd of his popular vote loss. But she expressed optimism in response to the recent surge of political engagement.

"We are in a time of, in my life, maximum change. On the one hand, great danger — and I am not for a moment diminishing how great that danger is — and on another hand, we are woke," Steinem said, earning cheers from the crowd. 

She had quite a few adjectives to describe today's activism, including one particularly colorful one.


"I have never in my life seen so much organic, sustained, enthusiastic, inventive, creative, and fan-fucking-tastic activism."

Steinem's observations are certainly backed up by the numbers. For instance, January's Women's March, for which Steinem was a speaker, drew millions of protesters around the world. 

A March poll from SurveyMonkey also showed that approximately two-thirds of Americans said they had been involved in politics or community causes in the past two months. (The most popular methods were sharing opinions on social media, voting, and signing petitions.) Looking more specifically at political affiliations, liberal Democrats were twice as likely as other Americans to say they had participated in activism in the beginning of 2017, and their forms of activism were more likely to be varied.

In Tuesday's speech, Steinem also made sure to relate activism to art, remarking, "It is a rebellion of the visual arts, the arts of the heart, the arts that are not limited by language, not limited by technology."

She ended things on a lighthearted note, reminding the graduates, "If you want to have fun and laughter and sex and poetry and music at the end of the revolution, you have to have fun and laughter and sex and poetry on the way," adding that she "can't wait to watch and see what happens."

You can watch Steinem's speech in the video below, beginning at the 1 hour, 29-minute mark:


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