Gloria Steinem: “For the First Time, Women Are Being Believed”

As the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements continue to make waves across the globe, feminists who have been working in the trenches for decades are speaking up on the changes they see taking hold.

At a recent conference hosted by MAKERS—the feminist media brand and platform for sharing women’s stories—Gloria Steinem spoke on a panel to discuss the groundswell of survivors coming forward to speak out against sexual harassment. One of the key distinctions Steinem sees in this current movement that she has not seen before is the diminishing backlash against women’s careers. In discussing change by the masses, Steinem says, "You’re not jeopardizing your career anymore, look what’s happening. You’re jeopardizing his career. Strengthen yourself by finding one, two, three other women who’ve been harassed by the same guy. That helps a lot. You shouldn’t need that, but it helps a lot."

Steinem has fought for women’s equality her entire life, and has seen the very roadblocks that prevent progress on the issue of curbing sexual harassment and assault. Since the term “sexual harassment” was coined by women in the 1970s to describe their experiences, it has now entered the lexicons of industries and social environments almost everywhere. The difference between then and now, Steinem explains, is that women’s voices are beginning to be trusted.

"I feel as if now, for the first time, women are being believed. That’s the difference," she says. "The downside is that it has taken so many women to come forward. It’s taken a while because it’s a majority experience. Most women experience this."

Though these movements are well overdo in terms of societal progress, these types of movements toward equality are a welcome change to the status quo of doubting women’s truths. Activism appears to be at an all time high, and shows little sign of slowing down anytime soon. Asked whether she sees the possibility of the conversation being shut down by critics, Steinem answered in classic fashion, “Fuck them.”