tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN August 15, 2014 5:33am-7:01am EDT
the brothers have not going to but finally they said okay, madame nhu, you've got to get out of vietnam. shut up and basically. so what is she go? she comes right to the united states and goes on it this press relations to. she doesn't understand, she was invited to speak at harvard and columbia and georgetown, and she's also invited by "meet the press" and all of these press organizations. she doesn't understand why she feels like the government hasn't rolled out the red carpet for her. was and she invited? she doesn't get this separation between the press and the government. because in her country of course like the government, the press can only see what the government wants them to see. for her it was really totally befuddling to the end of her days. they said to go home. why didn't they want me to? she goes, ghost in your comment goes to washington, d.c., comes to chicago. she stays in the blackstone hotel, and what my favorite poems of the trip is she goes to
dallas and there's a ranch there and she gets invited to go shooting. so her daughter dresses up in like western gear and apparel has the first kind of teenage romance with a texas guy. and her reception that madame nhu gets from her mother, was very worried about madame nhu's visit to the united states so she posts a state department has had an estimate as has madame nhu really shouldn't come you. i have aren't all that the in these to throw tomatoes after and if they see her to run her over with the car. this is her mother. she does get tomatoes for better. she also gets standing ovations from fordham, from georgetown, from a lot of catholic education speed is good to say, she really mapped out the catholic college and universities, i can or as part of her tour was she presented at that point as -- her catholicism commune, very important part of her political
ideology, if you want to call it that. was she seen in that light, in 1963 in the united states? i assume to the extent that she was hitting, you know, places like fordham, georgetown, they were very much self-conscious of that. was the part of her reception as well? >> i do think that part of the political closet of the south vietnamese government was based on something called personalism which is this philosophy that started in france in the '20s and it was a catholic closet, supposed be an alternative to pure capitalism and communism but it was kind of his third way. that was a cornerstone of their government. no one could quite understand how that translated to south vietnam, and so that was really the problem wasn't marketing. but the regime had bought all the property outside of rome, and property of course enormous pretty and expenses of the
bought large tracts of them with the idea that they would send a south vietnamese functionaries over to rome to go get in doctor naked in their version of personalism. and then come back to south vietnam. that didn't work out so well for them but it was a place that madame nhu after her family was itself empowered, she go back to the land outside of rome which was not very valuable and sell it off piece by piece. >> i was always curious about that in a relationships with kennedy, the fact he disliked her so much and was were interested in how the catholicism worked into that. you would almost think that there might be some kind of, you know, sense of closeness between her and kennedy that was obviously not there. if anyone, the person who had the fondest thoughts about it would have been lbj. >> that's right. madame nhu convinced he was flirting with her but i think he must have flirted with everyone. but the connections between the family in saigon and the kennedy family in washington come is
really, it's uncanny. on paper they look like they should've gotten along great. catholic dems, both governments run by a lot of family members, and very anti-communist. so they should have really gotten along well, but as it turned out they didn't, and jacqueline kennedy was a real critic of madame nhu. she thought madame nhu was just sort of pushy, what did she call her? she called her everything that jack found unattractive, when sort oppressed, she boasted about her own marriage to president kennedy saying they had this marriage which -- so what is that? who knows, sort of submissive and madame nhu is anything but submissive. ..
starring the power of full comments iconic canadian asian woman. or she's a very submissive kind of geisha girls. so there's these two ways asian women have been portrayed. and so, when women rise to certain level of politics, they certainly get shoved into one of these to the categories. >> we even had chicago's tokyo rose. when i was trying to kind of
wrecking waits this very complex figure, you present her and all are complex today, which i think is wonderful. i kept thinking also about modelo to mark those who doesn't come up in the book, this strikes me as a counter model. she certainly was a figure like that. the mac now she wasn't. registered there's an off-broadway play in new york. discussing about the delta markers. >> i think it was called boots. >> a thousand shoes. it's called here lies love. and i think madame nhu would be a great character for his next. she was flamboyant and didn't go quietly either. >> has anyone been interested in making a film about her life if i'm asked quite >> not that i know of. the next there's anyone out there, taking authors.
>> that's right. >> what was she like? you portray this very well in the book, but tell us about what she was like when you anointed a contact. she wasn't exactly advertising where she lived in paris. she has avoided pterosaurs son because she could've been extradited. the >> correct, yes. >> rented the apartment, is that correct? >> madame nhu told me it was anonymous gift and she always implied to me it had been given to her by the american government because they felt bad for not enough for a been a brother-in-law. she tried to come to the united states, but her visa was denied. they needed to keep renée save face. but to the pair should rent out the apartment to get the cash from it. that is where i found her. my vietnamese is really bad, but for now and then i look online and tried dictionary, decipher my way through a little article.
i found this article in early 2000 by a guy who claimed to have interviewed madame nhu. she was on the 12th floor this building and that rung a bell to me, so i thought i'd might note and i said i see here she wrote a letter to clare booth luce to this address goes to the eiffel tower. i will go there and see if i can anger. this is when i thought there was no way i'd ever get her to talk to me. >> this is around 2005. >> around 2005. >> i go to this address. it is only eight euros high. i totally missed database. a sort of look around paris and i realize all the building in paris or in fact really love mfn looking for 12 or a building i won't have to go very far. >> it's like washington d.c. there's limits on how high buildings can be built. it really sticks out. >> it does. so i started walking around paris among literally knocking
on doors every building i was high enough. i got to the concierge said there's an older vietnamese woman live here. i wasn't sure what name she was going by. she said no, she doesn't live here. she was next-door. so that was how i found her. i was writing her letters and asking her to tell your story, trying to pitch it as they let me sort of did this in a scholarly way. what ended up happening was most unscholarly thing possible. we connect to in a way because the day that she called me for the first time i had written maybe 10 letters at this point, was the day i found out i was right. so i get the phone call and the woman says this is madame nhu. i just now noticed with my first son is automatically my relationship with her, going through the birth of my son was almost as maternal grandmotherly thing. i think we told her, our
families are expecting, but before i told many friends i told this woman on the phone, who immediately changed her attitude towards me. it was suddenly like a redneck, let me tell you my dear and we could really connect in a way that was so personal and nonthreatening for her because suddenly i was this girl who needed help and she had four children, so she could tell me every emir was to know. >> you develop this relationship over a number of years and a much gained a cat and mouse. how long did it take for her to really start to talk to you about the memoir she was hopefully going to tell you about quick >> she started talking about the memoir almost right away. it is clear the memoir was going to never be produced via she was talking about it in 1963. she mentioned it to the saturday evening post. when tension was at their stages everywhere, even under mess out for. i thought gosh, were never going to get the spirit that they did
exist before she passed away commissioners elsewhere long time and before she passed away she decided i've got to get this done. this is my last chance to get my side of the story heard. so she sent them to me, all 400 pages of why she was the center of the universe. >> we want to take your questions if you have any, but i want to ask you a couple before we do that. you are writing about it. that has been receding in the american imagination for some time. how has both been received? when we were talking earlier, you mention that you get a lot of feedback from the veteran, people are very interested in the industry of almond want to know more about that. what has that been like quick >> are sent to different ounces and the veterans community has
been wonderful in curious about my work and found them i'm young and i wasn't there that don't have that experience, so i really do respect people who had the first 10 picks. they are. but they often wonder, why would you ever go digging into this moment? she was terrible and she should just be left as it is. she hurt so many people and made vietnam, which is only a problem so much worse. i would you go digging around in not quite my answer is simply because she was fascinating exploration of what went wrong with our involvement in south vietnam and she sort of personalizes the history in a way people of my generation, when i is in eighth grade we couldn't even talk about the vietnam war yet is cool yet he cuts it was an okay here it was too controversial. so now there's more education about it, but it is still a hard conflict to streamline and get
people talking about. so if this is one way to do that, madame nhu is a very polarizing figure and i i think it needs to be explored, and all. >> did your personal feelings for her change over time? i don't know if you started the project is a black-and-white figure politically and historically. i don't know whether you take became from that kind of a physician, but did she become much more personalizes you in the process of working on about quick >> when i started i thought this is a woman who's been stereotyped and i was going to rescue her and all this stuff. but she really didn't need to be rescued. she was good in that. she was complicated. i think my initial i am going to do this world a great service was quickly changed when i started learning all the facts.
but i have the up most respect for her. i mean, she was a strong woman anytime in place that it was not okay to be a strong woman and i really thing she embodied a lot of the conflicts women face when they are trying to be ambitious in a place that won't let them express themselves and tries to put them down. i have a lot of respect for her. >> and not only -- yet not only strong detractors who were women in the early 60s, but a couple people who really thought she was a much more complex person and wanted to write about her were also women. they talk about margaret higgins, for example. >> harker adrian and clare booth luce for big advocates. >> it's interesting. i think we're living in a time where we see more interesting layout or fees written by
political figures and particularly from asia that we've seen. there is a really interesting biography last year written by the woman who wrote wild swans. it seems like there's a different generation of women who've come of age after the victories of feminism, offering very different as that would not have been available 30, 40 years ago. so that is wonderful. i think it's a terrific book. very happy to been able to read it. does anyone have any questions in the audience? i think we have a microphone. yes. >> hi, you talked a little bit about how deronmadame nhu's
recollections might have been colored in how you dealt with the unreliability of the source for your working on the project. >> it's a great question. madame nhu was an unreliable character. and writing a book, i chose sort of the unorthodox path of putting the elf in the book because i wanted to be someone who could see both sides. i mean, it did the research in the archives in france. i did the research of materials united states and i think there are no real check confused of madame nhu that was written about her in the 60s was also the lancet by the mostly white male reporters who are writing about her. and so, for both of these sites i had to kind of navigate okay, what is true, what is false and in her memoirs that she wrote her she is the center of the universe, obviously that wasn't much help to me, but what was
was fighting out what kind of shoes to spring,, the little details that were factual but i wasn't going to get anyplace else. but you're right, there was a really tricky thing and i try to be as honest as they can in the book about walking that fine line between believing what she's had also making sure it is factually correct. >> the photographs i mentioned earlier are really quite incredible. i noticed a couple of them came from her own collection. dashiki because photographs quick >> those are part of the memoir to be published. >> okay. >> to the question? >> first off, thank you for a great program. i am curious about what you think about how the press did commit the u.s. price. you mentioned how it was under the thumb of the vietnamese government. how much better did the american press deal? you must have read a lot of articles and watched a lot of
newsclips. the u.s. media today built her up or demonize her or trivialize her, how did the u.s. press deal? >> such a good question. the u.s. press, if you read the accounts of how versed in and she had and malcolm brown who went there in those early days, they tend to have really believed the united states was doing the right and i've been in vietnam. this is a country that aided to be saved, that the dominoes were very real, really falling and said they were really started patriotically behind united states involvement in south vietnam. but because the back, madame nhu and her family were really a stumbling block. they were stirring things up right and left in these reporters could see it and no one else is talking about it. so they were advocates i don't want to say their advocates far-reaching change, but they
were advocates for getting america more involved in south vietnam, reporting facts as they saw them, which was hard to do in that context. i don't think they build madame nhu up. i really don't think they liked her very much. >> we should point out that she read them religiously. there is a point in the book where you tell her that david halberstam has just been killed in a car accident. he was in a car accident in 2008 and you break that news to her and she actually seems kind of sad diet. but it was a personal friend of hers, someone she had known well. >> he said something about her like she was the only one of the family who knew how to do a parade. she raised her hand like mussolini. she said these things than any other reading would be not compliments, but she was sort of like i remember him. he was a good reporter and he always told the truth.
this is the evolution of feminism panel so if that is not what you came to hear you are in the wrong place. i want to ask you to silence your cellphone. there is a book signing following the session so you can continue the conversation with our authors afterwards in signing area five. personal recording of the sessions is not allowed. we are also being broadcast live on c-span. and i was supposed to say something about earthquake safety. if you feel an earthquake, please, leave calmly and put your hands over your head. i want you to know at the end of the session, 10-15 minutes before the end, we will take questions from the audience. there is a mike setup in an
aisle and if you are not mobile raise your hand and we will bring you a mike. let's start with mia. he she is an author and veteran journalist and wrote for the "washington post" for many years. she as interviewed killers, famous people, leaders like castro and as an infant she interviewed president kennedy. >> at four. >> a series she wrote for the post on veterans led her to write her book to examine the problem of post-traumatic stress disorder. in 2006, she wrote all governments lie the lifes and times of rebel journalist stone. and she has gone to intimate
topics as well. she witnessed the last three years of a young woman's life to died of breast cancer. her new book talks about woodhall and her sister whose escapades in the 1870s might shock even the most liberated women. this rags for riches pair were born into poverty, went into the family snake oil trade literally before breaking free of their parents and moving to new york where they were stock brokers, free love advocates and suffrage rights and newspaper articles. if you think obama and clinton were pioneers look at this she
was the first woman to be recognized for running as president and her running mate because douglas. for many years she was a sindicated can cartoonist. the author of astro turf. a family memoir about the cold war. she wrote the unauthorized biography of a real doll that examined how doll came to hold a place in the honor of so many girls. it was invented by women to
teach girls for better or worse what was spect expected to them. in the "the accidental feminist: how elizabeth taylor raised our consciousness" she turned her attention to another woman. she is argues that taylor was more than just a fine actress. she was a role model for feminist causes and ideals whether posing as a boy to ride national velvet, unwed mother, or the boozy life in who is afraid of virginia wolf. and this is all long before she was the first lonely voice to take up the fight against aids. i need to note that you are cowriting for the opera about the 1-10 freeway on its 70th
anniversary. >> that project is creeping along. >> like rush hour. nancy calo is an author and expert on women and american call politics. she has taught at many schools and she is currently teaching at occidental college. her books include the reconstruction of american liberalism and the 1990's a social history. she is the kind of source every political journalist or talk show needs in their rolodex and
i count on her for comments in the money. in her new book, she talks about the sexual revolution and its n influence on politics and how the christian movement has talked about the gay rights, contraception, abortion and other rights. it has been going on for 40 years thanks to a small political minoritminority. it is no coincidence this is happening as the gop is further to the right than any other time since the way of slavery.
we have come a long way. most of us are not smoking anymore. at least not cigarettes. i live in venice beach. your books present the history of american feminism starting in the late 19th century, a stop in the middle of the last and an examining of what is happening now. and each generation fights essentially the same battle. some things really never change. equal pay, affordable childcare, the balance between work and home life, rather woman can do everything that men do, women are still said as jezebels or sluts for claiming their sexuality. woman are battling for reproductive freedom making it
impossible to get an abortion even if an abortion is legal. i wonder if you can start off with a 2-4 explanation on what inspired you to write your book. >> i hate starting first. before i do that, i want to quote two quotes and have you imagine where it came from. one is "the love affairs of the community should be left for the people to regulate themselves instead of trusting to legislation to regulate th ththe ththe ththem" this isn't talking about the defensive marriage act. this from 1871 and woodall. this was time when men had total power and there was nothing a woman could do on her on. and the other one is "put a
woman on trial for anything. it is considered as a legitimate part of the defense to make the searching inquiry into her sexual moraltmoralty" this is f 1871 with teddy speaking. the reason i got involved with these sisters never thinking they would be so rip and read from the front page. they were for equal pay and equal work and we see what happened last week. i went into it because in 2008 everybody was talking about the possible wonder team of hilary clinton and obama. and i started reading this tiny squib that said it has been done before. it was virginia woodhall and fredrick douglas.
where was astonished. i started reading about her incredible sister and found out how they pulled themselves from absolute fraud. they were fortune tellers living a horrible childhood to become the most richest and famous women in america at the time. and i will tell you more about that later. >> tell us how you got the idea. >> my last book was about the jet propulsion. i was stuck in a vacation house with a bunch of children. they didn't know who elizabeth taylor was.
gen-x knew her through fat jokes in the 1980s. i was taken back. and gen-y knew she had a vague connection to film but knew her as the person she was later in life. an aids leader in that way. stuck in the house the only thing for entertainment is boxes of elizabeth taylor movies. so we thought all right. it will be a campy night. we started watching in chronlogical order. and we were absolutely blown away. not by the quality of her performance but by the messages of her movie. in national velvet, her character age 12 challenges gender discrimination.
excluded from an important house race because of her gender and poses as a male jockey and wins exposing the pure bigtory of the exclusion of women. her next big one a place in the sun, 1951 is an abortion rights movie. it is an adaption of the american tragedy and i will have an opportunity to elaborate on this more but basically no pregnant mistress was a tragedy. and field eight is about a woman having a right to her own body and not adhering to the 50's marriage where a woman was a possession either owned as a spouse or rented by a hooker. she writes no sales on the
mirror of her married lovers husband. and virginia wolf is about what happens to a woman and man locked into a marriage where a only way the woman expresses herself is through her husband's career or children and her husband is unsuccessful and she can not have children. so i was amazed by this. and i will not yap too long. but i wanted to make sure my friends and i were not projecting 21st centuries ideas on to mid-20th century material. so i started looking if the academy of motion pictures arts and science library. i latched on to just briefly the content of american movies
between 1934-1936 was entirely controlled by the production code administration. they helped sway oversight and investigations -- ever word in the movies. the censors tried to drag them out. the scene where the character asked for an abortion had to be rewritten 12 times. they had to communicate through telepathy to a degree. but my suspicions were held by the paper trail left behind. >> thank you. nancy? >> so one day when hilary clinton was making her first run
for the presidency, i had an epipany and thought we have experienced the biggest tran transformations in history in the last 40 years. and i thought maybe there is a connection between political diem and this revolution. i jotted down the line perhaps it is the pill and hasn't been invented and american politics would be different. i thought it was a literary device. not literally true. and then the week that the book came out in 2012 as many of you probably remember the republicans convened an all-male
panel to debate birth control. so thanks, republicans. thanks for the book promotion. i really appreciated it. so that is my book. it looks at the 40 last years of history and looks at how the sexual dysfunction is driving our polarization and insanity and as robin mentioned the real reason for this is that the republican party has been captured by a group of sexual fundamentalist who honestly believe that woman's rights, gay civil rights, the sexual revolution are a mortal threat. i am not saying every republican is like this. it has to do with the factions
within the party. but part of it is it isn't just the republicans. it is democrats and liberals to misread the public poin opinion, overreacted to the election losses and ran scared and allowed a lot of the turning back the clock to happen. i do think we are seeing a shift in that but there is a lot of ground to make up after these 40 years of rolling back these rights. >> let me start by asking you myra, was feminism coined in the era you wrote your book? >> no. i find it upsetting when i see someone calling susan b. anthony a feminist because she only wanted the vote. she was a single-minded person
and wanted a vote. and elizabeth cady stanton was sexy. you would not know it looking at her. she was heavy with six kids but she had a love affair and was in the free love movement. all of the others were a gast by the behavior. the sisters said if all we do is relect the same corrupt dumb white males there is no reason to get the vote. they were ahead of their time. when you talk about the women in the fight, that same fight was going on in the mid-19th century. it is identical with the religious right. and the sisters were advanced and the man running with grant wanted to put god in the constitution and they said we
are not sure we wants to be in the constitution and how about the other two along with him. so they were incrediblely up front about this. they fought the clergy and the a woman's worst enemy was the gynecologist. they were all anti-contraception and just fiercely involved in this. wind one of the few joys, and i mean few, is i covered everything we talk about and we saw the backlash and saw it at the time was happening with phyllis who was convincing women with the equal rights movement they would lose their husbands and have to have unisex bathrooms that made me wonder if he was every on a
plane. and she was defending the rights of unborn children and i said how many of your friends will adopt a black child? i want to say this about the religious movement. the money is there. you follow the money. the tea party is the gift that keeps giving because we can fight back at it. all of the women's -- i am even tweeting, everybody! on the internet you have all of these women writing everything and every single one as soon as the koch brothers do it we to bring it back in. wendy davis -- i have covered texas politics and god forbid
you should ever go there. it is just horrible. and they just came up with the mo abortion law that is mind blowing. these women are my heroes because they took such unbelievable chances. i will stop now but i want to talk about when they were put in jail and arrested for obscenity when they blew the whistles on affairs. >> i want to jump in on where they feminist. feminism was discovered in the america a hundred years ago this month. century magazine wrote you know, feminism is on everyone's tongue. it is in the germ of our women. we must define and understand it. and what feminism was is it was
imported by the french by bohemians to mean, you know, it was in many ways against the susan b. anthony-type of what way called the woman movement. we wanted to distinguish ourselv ourselves. they fought for legal birth control. there was c etchinensorship at e for even writing about it. i agree with the wood hall sisters who are just amazing. i have been waiting for a new bio about these women so thank you. they were audacious. they struck people as kind of charting a new human sex. leaving behind the moralism of the victorian women. if you take that and look at
someone like liz taylor and think about the very nature of what women are to be. not just rolls. it is no wonder that we have seen such resistance to accepting these changes. these were thousands of years of those roles for women that in the space of half a century were completely changed. and personal i look at this kind of glass half empty. i think we are on the cusp of more amazing changes and we have the feminist movement to thank but these values are now common sense throughout america. we have won. >> i want to also -- >> the glass half empty business. i am glad you mentioned glass because that was one of the things that made the woman's movement complicated in the early part of the 20th sicentur.
it was linked to the temperance movement and men would get drunk and beat up their wives. so the separation of the two movements was important. >> in some ways elizabeth taylor was along other things among the first free lovers. >> absolutely. erotic vagrancy. and i think the vatican -- it wasn't like a priest chatting privately in the courtyard. it was the official radio station and the weekly newspaper. >> but she had a fabulous response to that in the book. i am trying to remember. >> she asked can i sue the pope. >> he got the the revenge with the "the sandpiper" and we went beyond the abortion discussion and she made a decision to have a child out of wed loc and she
is this emblem because she is openally ateist and linked to the goddess cults and she destroys the faith of a marriage of a pen costal. it is a marvelous movie that wasn't appreciated at the time. because they were big stars. one of the things i usually like when i give a talk like this is you have to believe me. but it is often more effective when i can show a clip from a film and you can see and hear it yourself and you don't have to trust me which maybe an obsta e
obstacle. >> she was born in 1932? so she came of age in world war ii so she was the cohert of woman that came through at this time. did elizabeth taylor ever consider herself a feminist or show any kind of indication of the roles? >> i think directors saw things in her that only in much later life would she be able to identify in herself. these qualities that you could be beautiful and very strong. she didn't have much education. show was a contract player from 12-on and educated at the little red school house and didn't go to college.
but she learned the things she came to know by working with the best directors in america. her character in giant leslie benedict. >> give us a sample. >> it is an adaption of the involve and much better from the involve. the woman marries rock hudson and he severely mistreats the mexican because they are not united states citizens. the mexican workers on his cattle ranch. feminism is a social justice issue. and this chair character is
concerned with that. her husband says she can not visit the community of the mexican workers. she finds a sick children and instead of pushing the child away she embraces the child and forces the physician who only intended the american ranching community to make that child well. it is almost, to me, it seems like in later life, after she was sober, she became leslie benedict. all of her gay friends who were sick and many people in hollywood out of fear were pushing them away she embraced them. and i have a long interview in the book with rock hudson's doctor who initially identified the aids virus in medical journals and he kind of agreed with this analogy of leslie
benedi benedict. it was forcing the mainstream community to acknowledge the humanity and suffering of the people on the margins. >> can i ask a question? my feeling is that the real feminist in that were the writers. she wrote the book it came from and the same with settling last summer. in other words, do you feel, i have an antidote about elizabeth taylor, but do you feel she picked these roles because of the writing, background and concept had nothing to do with her? but i knew her when she was married to senator warner. >> not a bright light. >> let me tell you. she sat there and she said i
never knew senators could be so dull. >> at least she had fried chicken and bourbon as a distraction. >> mostly the bourbon. >> and talked about joan rivers jokes. >> women get liberated and unliberated and liberated. they went to work in world war ii, men came home and back into the house wife that took hold for a decade, and do we have a wrong impression of how feminism has evolved or is there always a backlash. you say we won but pushback in a lot of time. in texas, if you are poor young woman who needs an abortion you
are in trouble. >> they managed to close every planned parenthood in mississippi. there is one. >> it is about to be closed. >> let me clarify when i say one. the value of equal civil rights for all women, people of all sexual orientations has won in mainstream america. if you look at polling, only 7% of americans don't support the idea that women should have equal political, social, and economic rights as men. gay marriage is polling at about 60% now. but just because we live in a democracy and most everybody agrees with something or a super majority agrees doesn't mean that is what the policy is. this is about politics, right?
what i write about is a small group of reactionaries through taking politics very seriously and by joining like school boards and getting involved in a prestinct level, i worked over a period of 20 years to take over the republican party to a sense that even moderates and the republican party have to vote the way the sexual fundamentals want. put it this way. there was a vote on equal pay this week and all four republican women senators voted against that equal pay law. it is a moderate bill. one of the women is kind of a strong anti-abortion, right wing senator, and the other three are relatively moderate. it is a question of party
loyalty and making it through the primaries that they have to vote with the tea party, which is really just the christian right rebranded. one of the things i think about is the waves of feminism and there was a point when it was a much more interesting culture question and question of sexual violence is very important. but at the time where it started leaving politics behind women who i write about like the women who want to be women and hid feminist books under her bed so her nieces wouldn't see the pornography -- i think the female orgases section is the one she didn't want them to see.
so while party democrats were running scared about gay rights and feminist turned their back on electric politics. the other side that doesn't support women's equality won in a political party. so we have won in the battle of public opinion. if we took that next step into the politics we will win in politics. but until we match our kind of politics with our opinion we are going to keep seeing the public policy going backwards. >> look at the women running today. grimes against mcconnell. mcconnell has gotten so much more money. and there is the old cliche
about someone not being smart and he was an empty suit. well mcconnell calls her an empty dress. and he is practically bulletproof because he has a hold. the same thing with wendy davis. there are smart, wonderful women running but until you get the backing and the money it isn't going to work. the longest women in congress said to me once 20 senators isn't enough. if we are 50% of the society we have to have 50 women senators and then you will start seeing top down changes. but i just think that you have to be realistic about whether it is what the public wants or not. it is the same thing with the nra. many people don't think you should have guns but the nra
keeps getting both democrats and republicans reelected over and over again. so you have to follow the money and that is what we have to do more of. >> did you want to add something? >> what was i going to add? nancy mentioned polling. it made me think of my students. my millennial students have progressive attitudes on social issues but they need to be made aware of the things they take for granted can be taken away. >> do you think that is a function of being in california and in a relatively liberal bubble? or being young? >> i think they take abortion rights for granted. i like showing up and a signing of a place in the sun so they can see the absolute horror of what a world looked like without
roe versus wade. you would be surprised how much more excited they become when they see the other side prevailing. >> i covered abortion when it was illegal in 1969 and i can tell you the coat hanger pictures, people dying -- it was a total reality. i agree with you totally that younger people can't imagine having that ever happen again. >> nancy, you write in the book about how the christian right has been energized by woman. if i throw out a sentence i wonder if you can each respond to it. woman are sometimes women's own worse enemy. >> women can be women's own worst enemies but i really think
we should expect all women to agree. so i strongly oppose the politician of these people i call sexual fundamentalist. they have a world view that comes from a fundamentalist reading of their religion whether that is catholic or evangelical. and they are not anti-women but they believe woman's proper role is first as a mother and a wife. you have ones like sarah palin that says if you can cover the mother and wife and also be vice president, great. but it is always premised on this is the god given role of women. that is their view. if we want to understand what the political fight is about we
to, you know, understand their view. i would say i see millennial generation motivated to vote. there was a stampede at ucla to get fsee hilary clinton. there is excitement about the idea of a first woman president. and that is my next book so keep an eye out for that in 2015. so i think if we could, you know, a discussion with these young people about this is what is motivating and they get decide. do we, like most men and women in the millennial generation, think that women and men should have equal roles and we would like to see men having more opportunity to be with their kids and men are struggling with work-family balance. i think that is where they are. or do they want to share this
view of a god given role for men and women. i think we win by having that debate. >> what do you think, mg? >> in order to respond i find myself scrolling back to forever barbie which after 20 years is still in print and it is four required courses here that have to do with concepts of gender and marketing. it also follows me around. in the new york times review of the elizabeth taylor book i got all excited at the time beginning of the review i was compared with twain and others but as it developed it came out in the the herman mel vil of
midcentury sex icons. what nancy said about the idea of a woman having to be at a mother first and foremost. i think we ought to give credit to the 11.5 inch plastic ball that was a revolutionary toy, barbie, in 1959 when it came out. highly sexualized, no husband and from the get-go a career. barbie was the beginning of dolls that taught girls to nurture. it was about putting your adult life on to a grown woman not nurturing a baby. it was similar to the sex and the single girl when was protofeminist and it was very
much an argument for women's sexual and financial atonomy and this thing did plant the idea -- i am not sure she could stand on her own two feet, but she could wobble defiantly on her own two feet without being held up by a man. >> i had a totally different feeling about barbie. i didn't want my daughter to have her with the big tits and big waist. on the business of women being their own worst enemy it was major with the sisters. as i said, they wrote this scand scandalous article about beacher having an affair and victoria said he spoke to 16 of his
mistress each week at church. and they were put in jail and followed and put back in jail over and over again for what was a small would be offense. absolutely joining that were the two beacher sisters who wrote uncle tom's cabinet and they were called tramps and prositutes. but catherine was the martha stewart of her day and told you how to be a house maker, how to be a good mother, the many steps to ironing your husband's shirt. she was an old spinster and was never married. she had never had children. she was this cause 11. she joined something like 5,000
women petitioning against the vote at the very same time when the others were. so there was always that standoff i think. sometimes there was religious connotation and sometimes it was how are you so audacious. anthony comstalk was his name and he was a self-made vice star who was going to stop all vice. he saw sin in everything. medical books. >> like kenneth star? >> exactly. there were some cartoons made and one is he is standing up with a woman next to him looking at the judge saying you honor,
this woman just gave birth to a naked baby. but that was a situation where he then happened to make the federal -- it is going back to your point -- he got the federal law and made obscenity tougher. he was against everything the best writers wrote and walt whitman and george bernard shaw and forced a major abortionist to commit suicide. so when you talk about the anti-movement there has been a backlash from males and females. you have to remember, i am sure it is in your book, that the women's movement in the '60s starts because the anti-war movement was leaving them out
and not letting them run anything. one got mad when tom hayden got off the plane and handed me dirty laundry and said clean it. >> before we take questions, i want to ask you a current question that may not seem important but it does get at something interesting in the culture. cheryl sanders of facebook launched a campaign with the girl scouts to ban the word bossy for girls. >> what about ballsy? [laughter] >> i actually think we should embrace bossy. i think we need to revalue it.
i think it is social media stumble. >> where does tina fay weigh in on this? isn't she bossy pants? i would like her opinion. >> maybe we should tweet and see if she answers. >> that is a good idea. >> unbelievable -- well anything is believable. the words, i am shaping this up for a speech i am giving on sexism in politics. a man is ambition, great. a woman is ambition, oh, you know. you can take the simpliest word and it goes on and on.
>> i was going to say that woman who have more than one cast take a severe beating in this culture. i myself i indendured it and i would like to speak out against that terrible prejudice. >> especially if they are single. >> hi, i write for revolution newspaper and i have a comment and a question. today is a national day of emergency action around abortion and there is protest going on across the country this afternoon. we have to confront, and i real think it is a poisoning idea that even to explain what you meant by we won. it is the profound disagreement if you look at both in people's
thinking and the laws. women around the world are being hurled backwards. but 203 restrictions against abortion, six states with one clinic left and 40,000 woman around the world die from abortions. 11 is the average age of little boys watching pornography. people don't know this. including to my generation doesn't know this and young girls. >> i think it is great hearing you. keep coming. >> here is where and -- >> we want the young women. i wish there were more of your generations in the audience. let's give this woman a megaphone. >> i have one. i will frame my question. ultimately it will take a
revolution and different system to end pornography and the degrading of women around the world. we need mast resistance. the idea that hillary who is a war criminal is going to do anything and where we should rely on is the democrats is part of what has poisoned and hamstrung my generation. i think people have to get out in the streets and fight and that is the lesson from previous generations. >> the women i wrote about were girls at the time and they happened to be beautiful which helped. but they played the only game possible. the power game was the male owned and everything but she got up and gave this famous speech after she was the first woman to address congress and said if
they don't go with with us it is revolution. there are those moments and people that will do it. but i am concerned about what i consider complacency in your age group. they can have it all. my 11-year-old grand daughter said my friend wants to be a doctor and i want to be a lawyer. it is engrained they don't have to fight. >> in mississippi, a lot of women are currently self-inducing the abortion. they don't know the hanger but it is happening now. >> i have a question based on her statement. when you call for revolution, what do you interupt that to mean and do you think that is a good idea?
>> i think we have learned that some revolutions in history work. i do not think we are in a revolutionary age and i don't think we need a revolution to accomplish a lot of what needs to happen in the united states. plain and simple. >> other two? >> i think it is a hard -- what does the word actually mean. in my concept i keep repeating is a revolution within. there has to be more women elected because that changes things. even though you mentioned those four, i was talking to one of the women senators and she said we work across the aisle. we are the ones that got congress to not have the government be held up. the women did it and worked together actually. i feel unlike your thought
because i understand your idea of where hillary has trimmed and in many ways i don't find comfortable but i think she would be forced, if she were the first woman president, to be with women's issues at least. >> i still don't have the energy for a revolution any more. i don't think have a enough estrogen for that one. it is in the hands of your generation. >> this is my delima. i am veteran, i am 70 and was all of the movements. i don't know how much longer i have. i will probably vote for hillary even though i have a lot of reservati
reservati reservations but before i die i would like to see a woman president. >> does anybody think there can be a female president who is not compromised? >> elizabeth warren. >> the muzzle is too strong, but she is laying low to see whether hilleraary runs. >> if claire underwood from house of cards were not fictional i don't know if i would want her in the whitehouse but i bet she could get there. >> that is what i mean by severely compromised. >> she would kill a few people along the way. >> finally, i would like to return to a question.
particularly women who came of age in the '70s before it never occurred that the word feminist had something with a negative connotation. so you are in a classroom and so are you and i don't know how much interaction with younger women you have when you here i am not a feminist but -- what your reaction? do you have a rant? >> i assign them a place in the sun and they to -- have to do a report on it. >> in the '70s i wanted to go out and interview blue call -- coller workers. it was an upper class movement as it was during the victorian. the sisters came from total
trash and were looked at like associating with them was a problem. but i said i want to go out and i went out to detroit and i started interviewing woman and it wasn't i am not a feminist but it was i am not a woman's liberationist and i kept hearing this. i started talking to some of them and one said if i wear better t-shirts my job said i would get better jobs and i reported him. so she was a feminist. ...
and it when we start seeing this -- i mean speaking to the electronic union. and all of the guys were saying, it's great to have a woman. it's great that we can all get together and have women in this union. she smiled and smiled and said, take over. [laughter] so i just think that it is the young women in college. you are going to see where they are and what they may have to do to counter them. >> when get radicalized as they
get older and men get more conservative. i don't think so. >> i just want to put in a slightly different note on this. i am actually -- the women that i teach and that i run into in political activism, a couple in the room here doing absolutely amazing work. they believe and gender equality sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. i am very sympathetic. i want to hear why they are reluctant to use the word. i think we have been saying too much. horrible that they won't use the word and have not spent a lot of time listening to them. >> last question. >> this has to do with a book i finished recently called reign of error. to you see any threat, the equality of women if the public schools were shut down and turned over to corporate america ?
some of the seven states and up and wisconsin. can otherwise they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year to get people elected to school boards, elected to state legislatures to push their agendas. one of them is not against women, to do with republics schools completely and turn them over to a corporation. right now if you want to know what is going on in need to go to the blog and read it. she was assistant secretary of education under bush, the architect, and then she turned around 180 degrees against it. >> does anybody have a thought about that? a little bit off topic. go ahead. [inaudible conversations] >> come and talk at the mike let her talk at the mike.
>> i like this audience. [laughter] >> you are a good audience. [applause] >> i was a student. it is always a delight. some were really extraordinary. >> tell us about the relationship of women's rights, feminism through schools and how you see it. >> well, i actually just showed that documentary misrepresentation of a teacher in lausd high-school and one of the students near the end of the day said that he does not want to see a woman as president and neither does his father. he is african-american. and it is so hard to a deconstructs when what you were saying quiet is hard to deconstructs when they don't even have the academic language. and i'm not talking
rhetoric. i'm talking about objectification, misogyny, you know, their mind is not even freud developed yet. so when you talk about juvenile justice, when you talk about why there are more people of color in prison, you know, he tried to given the historical context. you know, they are worried about what their will to on friday night and don't understand the lynchings and mississippi for brown versus board of education. so on top of that when we ask teachers are exhausted and we don't have time to get out of the street and rally about how they're being exploited or about how i worked without a contract after years of seniority because our superintendent decided to put his far this towards evaluation.
in the, you know, so this attack on teachers, i mean, there are some many complexities and nuances, you know. and when you throw in 72 percent of my school is at poverty level. i transferred from 95 percent. when you are reporting child abuse. march i have so sorry. we are giving -- >> we are over our time. thank you. it. >> my voice will live on. thank you so much for being here. please, if you want to continue this conversation, and that since many of you would like to, come to signing area number five. thank you so much. [inaudible conversations]
>> our special booktv programming in prime time continues tonight with hillary clinton on her memoir, "hard choices." ben shapiro discusses his book, "the people v. barack obama: the criminal case against the obama administration." and you'll hear from author glenn greenwald on "no place to hide." booktv's in prime time during august here on c-span2. >> ftc commissioner says cramming or unauthorized third party charges on wireless bills is a growing problem, and the majority who are victims don't even know about it. he appeared before the senate commerce committee recently. senator richard blumenthal chaired this