This week, we hosted the extraordinary Gloria Steinem for a conversation with Chief Member Brenda Salce-Garcia.

"This is the first time in my life that I have been with a group of women who are all Chiefs," Gloria remarked. "This has never happened to me before, and it is such an honor. I'm so proud of all of you."

Gloria shared an abundance of wisdom with the Chief community, and below, we've highlighted some of her most powerful insights:

On the Overarching Importance of Community for Women

"Even though we can't connect in person, we're connecting online. And that has a special sanity saving function. In India, I learned the magic of a group of women sitting together in a circle with everybody given the chance to speak and listen. There's something magic about circles. They're the strongest design in nature, and the most impregnable. A pyramid is actually very vulnerable. So it's important to understand the value of a circle over a hierarchy."

On Being Realistic About Having It All 

"The problem with having it all — which incidentally was an advertising slogan — means doing it all. And it's not possible to have two full-time jobs. To have the burden of preparing food and taking care of the house on top of having a job.

What's important is sharing it all. It means having fathers spend half of the time taking care of the children. If we look at these responsibilities as shared, rather than stereotypically gendered, we can begin to make a lot of profound change. On the bright side, men at home now see homemaking and childcare — and they see how much it takes. We may have a more 50/50 division after this."

On Women and Power Dynamics

"Power is supposed to be unfeminine, but it's helpful to realize that there is no such thing as masculine and feminine. It's totally made up. There is only human. A person is a person. So if we can get beyond gender, I think that helps a lot. Women have also humanized power by saying to 'do it' as a plural, rather than an order. Not 'Do it,' but, 'We're doing it.'"

On What Activists Should Focus on Today

"Equal pay. It would be the single biggest economic revolution in the country. It would  put $400 million more into the economy tomorrow. I don't think we recognize how profoundly unequal it is. And we're just talking about gender. One way to help each other is to just tell each other our salaries."

On Civil Disobedience

"For most of my life, the Supreme Court has not been anything I wanted to obey. It ruled separate but equal in the schools, when it shouldn't have. So fundamentally I would say, we're going to do what we're going to do anyway. Fuck the Supreme Court. I know that I'm not underplaying the amount of power there is in a Supreme Court ruling. I'm not being foolish about that. But Martin Luther King always said that when the laws are unjust, it's our duty to disobey them."

On Voting

"If we don't vote, we're not alive. We just don't count. And when we think of the suffering that took place in order to get the vote, it helps us to value it."

On Her Friendship With and Admiration for Ruth Bader Ginsburg

"Ruth was a movement before there was a movement. At the very beginning of her career, when she was at the ACLU in New York, she was already taking a case of two young women who were threatened with sterilization in order to get welfare. And she had sent me to interview a woman to whom that had happened in order to have evidence. That was 1970, so I say this to indicate how far ahead she was. She always knew where we should go — because she was already there."

On the Impact of Humor

"In many native American cultures, there's a spirit of laughter that's neither male, nor female. And that spirit is very important because laughter breaks into the unknown. If you can't laugh, you can't pray. Laughter is a form, it is a mark of learning. It's what happens when two things come together and suddenly make a third. So what I'm saying is that we should take laughter seriously. And I would say that we should not go anywhere we can't laugh. We should be able to laugh everywhere."

On Something She Would Not Agonize Over in Retrospect

"Public speaking. I probably shortened my life by way of too much preparation."

On Using One’s Power to Lift Others Up

"When one of us has an opportunity to speak because of our position, we can bring a younger or less powerful person with us. It's just a process of taking what is presently a hierarchy and doing our best to nudge it into a circle."

On Being Called an Icon

"I don't feel like one at all. I kind of feel like I'm here among friends."

"I want to remind you how inspiring you are to younger women," Gloria concluded. "And I hope that when we're out of this phase of history, that you will speak to younger women, because only by seeing you do they know what's possible. I'm so happy to be with a group of women who have the chutzpah to use the word 'Chief.'"