Testimony Before the Senate Hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment
Gloria Steinem (1934-present) is an American feminist, journalist, author, and social-political activist. She gained national recognition as a leader of the “Second Wave” feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s. On May 6th, 1970, Gloria Steinem stood before the Senate and delivered this speech, advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and seeking to dispel myths about women.
When and How to Pair: Have students read this text after they have completed Act 4, scene 3, in order to generate a discussion on the role of women in the play. How do Desdemona and Emilia differ in their beliefs about how women should act with their husbands? In her testimony before the Senate hearings, which inequalities between men and women does Steinem observe? In comparison, what are the inequalities between the sexes that Emilia observes? How does Steinem’s response to these inequalities compare with Emilia’s? Commenting on the play as a whole, how does inequality between the sexes contribute to the dynamics between Desdemona and Othello?