This quotation from Susan B. Anthony serves as something of a touchstone throughout the recent HBO documentary about Gloria Steinem. It's a short film, just 60 minutes (Stephen Colbert quipped that it's 75% as long as documentaries about men), and because it takes a personal approach, structured around interviews with Steinem, it doesn't offer a comprehensive history of the second wave movement, or a lot of context for viewers unfamiliar with that history. Dana Goldstein has a good piece about the shortcomings of the film, especially regarding the treatment of race. It's too bad, because I think a lot of that history is really under-known and discussed. I don't mean the frequent specious charge that younger women are ignorant and therefore ungrateful about what the movement did for us. First of all, as Steinem points out through the Anthony quotation, gratitude should not be the goal. Certainly it's hard for any of us to really have a visceral sense of what the pre-(this round of)-feminism world felt like, which I think is part of the spell that Mad Men casts on so many of us. But as Steinem, who always rises above the media's attempts to bait her into trashing younger feminists, has pointed out, young women, when you look at actual poll numbers - let alone how we vote with our feet - are far more feminist than earlier generations. What I mean is that feminism often isn't really integrated into people's sense of social movements and how they work. Most well-educated progressives probably couldn't name the main civil rights laws except the non-passed ERA or the main court cases except for Roe. This doc. does little to address this, but the personal angle works well on its own terms, as Steinem talks about how she came to politics as a young journalist sent to cover a hearing on abortion laws, the ways the pre-feminist world led to her mother's breakdown, how her mother's own aborted writing career spurred her own ambitions and drove her from her family, the impact of being in the media spotlight, and her first marriage at 66. And it does a great job with what documentaries do best, showing us photographs and archival footage that evokes lost worlds: all the talk shows where, as Steinem points out, they hadn't yet gotten to anger against feminists and were still stuck on ridicule, and she navigated with wit, humor and grace, never taking the bait, gamely avoiding all their cajoling of her to diss other feminists, to diss on wives and mothers, to talk about nothing but her personal life - they made her deny she was dating Henry Kissinger after a White House visit, which tells you about what you need to know. As Gandhi said, first they ignore you, then they laugh, then they fight, and then you win - or, you sort of win and then you keep fighting.