At the same time, Steinem said that criticism levied against Facebook’s Sandberg is unfair. Many women have seen the book — which, among other things, takes issue with why more women aren’t making it to the top of corporate America — as an unwanted admonition to work even harder. But Steinem believes Sandberg is being attacked because she’s a woman in power, something that still makes some people of both sexes uneasy.
“Even Hillary Clinton had to lose to be liked,” Steinem said of the former New York senator’s 2008 presidential run. “I’m oversimplifying, but it’s unfair that men have to succeed to be loved, and it’s equally unfair that women have to fail to be loved.’’
Steinem sees in the Sandberg book some of the same issues and ideas that have been at the heart of the women’s rights movement since the 1970s.
“I would say the most radical thing in [Sandberg’s] book, and perhaps in the long run the most important, is that she suggests that fathers can equally raise children and can be equal at home,” Steinem said. “I have not seen that in the coverage of her book. Maybe I’ve missed it. She also says the most important career choice you will make if you want to have children is who your partner is. I don’t see that discussed either.”
Steinem took a moment from discussing the political to talk about the personal.
In 2003, her husband of three years, David Bale, the father of actor Christian Bale, died of brain lymphoma.
“I would say the biggest change for me was to live 100 percent in the present,” she said.
“When the present is an emergency, or when you’re not sure of the future, you need to live intensely in the present. In the rest of my life, I have tended to live in the future.”