'Radical feminist' Steinem chats with News 8 before Fort Worth rally




Posted on February 1, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 2 at 6:51 PM

FORT WORTH -- Author, activist, and self-described “radical feminist” Gloria Steinem came to Fort Worth Friday to add her voice in support of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas in its fight for survival.

The annual Planned Parenthood luncheon drew a record, sold-out crowd, raising more than $230,000 for the non-profit.

Before Steinem took the stage as featured speaker, she gave News 8's Gloria Campos an exclusive television interview, tackling such subjects as her early days as a journalist exposing unfair working conditions for women at the Playboy Club, her unabashed disdain of Governor Rick Perry -- saying he would be “more at home in Afghanistan,” and the possibility of another run for the White House for Hillary Clinton.

Steinem discussed posing as a Playboy bunny in the early '60s for her story, “A Bunny’s Tale."

”[It was] actually a dumb thing to do in retrospect," Steinem said. "I was having a hard time being taken seriously as a writer and it made it much worse.

“I’m glad it made some difference in the lives of female human beings, but from my own career point of view, I shouldn’t have done it,” she added.

Fifty years later, Steinem still doesn’t think much  of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.

“If I had made up Hugh Hefner, if I had made up Donald Trump, people would say how hostile I was to men," she said. "They are jokes. They are just total objects of ridicule, and their egos are so big, they don't seem to understand it."

Steinem, who will turn 79 years old in March, said although she supported Hillary Clinton for President in 2008, she didn't think Clinton would or could win. But now, she believes Clinton might has a better chance.

"I think she could win now, you know I never thought she could win before," Steinem said. "I never thought that any woman could win before. I think that she herself [in her role as Secretary of State] has changed peoples' view that we can now imagine a female chief of state."

Close to 1,000 women and men gathered for Steinem's address at the Planned Parenthood luncheon. She applauded the few elected officials who attended (including Congressman Marc Veasey and State Senator Wendy Davis) for their courage to show up, adding, "I'll come back to campaign for you, or stay away, if you prefer," drawing the biggest laugh of the day from the crowd.

Steinem said she still has a lot she wants to do with her life, including demonstrating to more people that "feminist" isn't a dirty word.

"[It's] a loving thing, it's an equal thing, it's a welcoming thing," Steinem said. "It means men and women are feminists, if we believe in each other."

E-mail gcampos@wfaa.com