"I thought this was a good opportunity to connect with people about something I'm doing and perhaps other people might also do," said Steinem.
The legendary Gloria Steinem is celebrating the 101st anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment for Women's Suffrage in true feminist fashion. Hoping to mark the special occasion by making a difference in whichever way she can, the 87-year-old recently joined the video-sharing platform Cameo with a vow to record 101 personalized videos for $101 each. According to PEOPLE, 100% of the proceeds from the videos will be donated to Gloria's Foundation, a non-profit founded by the activist with the aim of supporting and nurturing the feminist movement.
In celebration of the 101st year of Women's Sufferage, I will be taking 101 of your requests on @BookCameo- see you there! pic.twitter.com/zUbqdW06eT— Gloria Steinem (@GloriaSteinem) August 18, 2021
The funds will eventually be utilized for talking circles, a traditional Native American communication practice used by many groups over the years to resolve conflict, by ensuring every voice is heard. "I thought this was a good opportunity to connect with people about something I'm doing and perhaps other people might also do," said Steinem. "Which is turning my house, when I depart, into a talking circle house. Historically and prehistorically, everything has come out of talking circles. Human beings are communal creatures... We need each other. And so I wanted to leave my house as a talking circle house, so these small groups that have always been here over the many decades that I've lived here can continue."
An icon has joined Cameo. @GloriaSteinem is commemorating 101 years of suffrage by fulfilling 101 Cameos to support Gloria’s Foundation. pic.twitter.com/XygpK1ozIl— Cameo (@BookCameo) August 18, 2021
Steinem explained that marking the milestone anniversary of women's suffrage in this way was a no-brainer, especially since she believes "there was a lot of effort to suppress votes" during the 2020 presidential election. "Trump's presence was a warning that we, as a democracy, have work to do," she said. "I think the election underlined that for many people in a political and social way... if we don't vote — whoever we are, whatever our description — we don't exist." On Cameo, Steinem will reportedly answer questions, offer advice, share words of support, and celebrate life milestones on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The icon hopes that the short clips will encourage "activism to become less removed" and simply "what we do when we get up in the morning." Elaborating on the subject, Steinem said: "If it's connecting people who need childcare or it's campaigning for a candidate or raising money for the women in Afghanistan, whatever it is, is not removed and arcane. It's simple, communal, and part of our everyday lives." Addressing the current crisis in Afghanistan, the activist added: "Obviously it's a great tragedy that the anti-democratic forces are coming back and endangering millions of people, and... endangering women."
"I would say, 'How can we in this country help?'" she noted, adding that she's been particularly inspired by "the bravery of women in Kabul." The Revolution from Within author also hopes that the 101 videos she makes for Cameo users will inspire the women's rights movement to tackle "whatever hurts" next. "There's no big orders from above. Of course, there are timetables, legislation that's coming up for a vote," she said. "But in fact, it's whatever it is in our lives that's unfair. It's important to remember that this country started out unequal. We have a romance with the idea that this country was founded as a democracy."
My act of self-care last week was getting a @BookCameo from legend @GloriaSteinem, who donated her fee to Gloria’s Foundation to nurture activism and feminism. She recorded 101 of these for 101 years of (some) women getting the vote.— Jude ⚖️🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️ (@jucopel) August 25, 2021
I love this so much. #Feminism pic.twitter.com/E8aLj34iQU
"From the beginning, it disqualified its citizens, the majority, either by gender or by race, and also killed either by pandemic or warfare, 90% of the people who were residents here," Steinem added. "So it would help us, I think, not to romanticize our beginnings, not to deny them. But to celebrate how far we have come from them and how important it is to continue."