Gloria Steinem on Weiner and the Dangers of Porn

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Gloria Steinem. Photo: Walter McBride/Getty Images

“Holy shit!” exclaimed Amanda Seyfried on the carpet of last night's Cinema Society screening of Lovelace, the biopic of Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace. “This is Gloria Steinem!” Sharon Stone, also impressed, made her publicist take her photo with Steinem, who supported Linda Lovelace (later Linda Marchiano) when she came out about the abuse she endured and crusaded against pornography. Steinem said she thought the movie — which begins with a candy-coated, campy Boogie Nights vibe before turning violent — does a good job telling a true story that audiences can take.

“In real life, it was much more violent,” said Steinem. “I don’t think people could have watched. For instance, there’s a gang-rape scene, in which [Lovelace’s husband] Chuck Traynor takes her into a room and she’s gang-raped. It’s portrayed as if this happened to her later. That was the first thing that happened to her. They really didn’t have a relationship. She always called him Mr. Traynor. She was terrified of him. I’m not sure anybody would have been able to sit in a theater and watch what really happened. I think [the filmmakers] did the best they could.”

Steinem went on to point out that part of pornography’s danger is that it perpetuates the idea that the normal human relationship is about dominance and submission. “It’s very, very dangerous,” she said. “And it’s very important because we’re never going to uproot violence from foreign policy unless we uproot it from families.” To that end, was Steinem concerned that comparisons between Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton might hurt Clinton’s possible campaign for presidency? “Of course not,” said Steinem. “No, no, no, no. Why would it?” Steinem said she has a lot of respect for Abedin, but found the situation to be absurd. “I mean, just imagine if there were a woman who had photographed her pubic area and sent it out on the phone,” she said. “Would she be a candidate?”