One of the ways Wikileaks, which has degenerated into some kind of conspiracy monger, & Assadist forces like Mint Press are attempting to discredit the Women’s Marches is by circulating an old video of Gloria Steinem talking about her tenure in the CIA after graduating from college.
She’s always been secretive about it, litigious about it, & it isn’t clear what she did or when she resigned. But it’s old news, only dragged out to discredit her by political competitors like Betty Friedan, or to discredit feminism as a whole & not just Steinem.
For those who aren’t just looking for cudgels to beat feminism to a pulp (& the simile of violence is entirely apt), it is problematic that Steinem was in the CIA. But her role in railroading the women’s movement into the Democratic Party is far more problematic.
There are a lot of political issues with Steinem, including her support for the war in Afghanistan & her elitism. But she is a feminist who despite her politics has made a contribution to feminism. She isn’t one of my teachers; I never found her a very insightful thinker. But she has supported things that more conservative feminists would not, including around the issue of civil rights.
The old ruse of dragging out the CIA thing to make feminism look suspect is political horse manure, not to mention politically jejune. Above all, try not to be politically jejune. Being horse manure is bad enough.