Views of NOW - The National Organization for Women

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NBC Today Show
Jane Pauley
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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NBC's Jane Pauley interviews the new president of the National Organization for Women, Judy Goldsmith, about the organization's political and social goals.



"Views of NOW - The National Organization for Women ." Jane Pauley, correspondent. NBC Today Show. NBCUniversal Media. 11 Oct. 1982. NBC Learn. Web. 17 January 2015.


Pauley, J. (Reporter). (1982, October 11). Views of NOW - The National Organization for Women . [Television series episode]. NBC Today Show. Retrieved from


"Views of NOW - The National Organization for Women " NBC Today Show, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 10/11/1982. Accessed Sat Jan 17 2015 from NBC Learn:


Views of NOW - The National Organization for Women

JANE PAULEY, anchor:

On CLOSE UP this morning, the National Organization for Women, NOW, has just elected a new President at its’ convention in Indianapolis over the weekend. And she is in our NBC affiliate there, WTHR-TV this morning. Judy Goldsmith, congratulations. And, good morning.

Ms. JUDY GOLDSMITH (newly elected President of the National Organization for Women): Thank you very much, Jane.

PAULEY: They say you are a pragmatist, not a purist. What do they mean ?

GOLDSMITH: Well, that the important thing is to accomplish the goals that if we…if we focus too excessively on purism, it makes it too difficult to move forward. And we intend to move forward.

PAULEY: You are a moderate feminist, as opposed to a radical feminist, then?

GOLDSMITH: Well, I am just slightly uncomfortable with the word moderate. I think that we have been strong and bold in the directions that we’ve taken, and we intend to continue that way.

PAULEY: 220,000 members in the National Organization for Women. Wouldn’t you think that most of them would describe themselves as moderates, not radicals?

GOLDSMITH: Well, I think that if they were given that choice, they probably would. But they do see themselves as making substantial changes in this society. Changes that are going to make it possible for women to participate fully and equitably in all areas of life.

PAULEY: Your election has been interpreted to mean a confirmation that the National Organization for Women is into politics in a big way. What is your electoral strategy, in November and beyond?

GOLDSMITH: We are moving forward, in order to bring…to get more women into the legislative bodies of the country. One of the clearest lessons of the ERA fight was that that is necessary if women’s issues are to get full and fair consideration. But we’re also going to get men in with a proven commitment to equality.

PAULEY: Let’s talk about that. Talking about purism and pragmatism. When you endorsed the male opponent of Millicent Fenwick, who is not unfriendly to feminist causes—is that a purist or a pragmatic standard you’re applying?

GOLDSMITH: Well, it is---I’m not sure that it’s easy to…to define it specifically in terms of those two words. But, while …while Millicent Fenwick has been very good on a number of our issues, she has supported Reaganomics. And Reaganomics have been…have represented a direct and frontal assault on women and their economic security.

PAULEY: Which comes first, feminism or economics?

GOLDSMITH: Very… We really can’t separate the two. Any kind of discrimination is, at base, economic. And so much of feminism really relates to survival issues. Economic survival issues for women.

PAULEY: A little personal, if we can get. You are a former English professor?

GOLDSMITH: That’s right.

PAULEY: You were born a woman, but not a feminist. How did you make your conversion?

GOLDSMITH: Well, I think it was a gradual process. But I realized one day in…not exactly one day, but at one point in my life, came to discover that, that in fact, many of the things that I’d been feeling were commonly shared by a number of women. And that has been typical of the feminine…the feminist experience, that we…we discover that things that we’ve felt previously well, we thought that we were …that we were perhaps odd, or unusual or unique, were shared by women all over the country, perhaps all over the world.

PAULEY: Judy Goldsmith. Thank you for being with us this morning.

GOLDSMITH: Thank you.