Academic Archive

Circle 043: Margarite Papandreou and Judy Jarvis, Women for a Meaningful Summit, October 25, 1986

Circle 043: Margarite Papandreou and Judy Jarvis, Women for a Meaningful Summit, October 25, 1986

 

The 43rd New England Circle met with Margaret Papandreou, a feminist and an activist for peace who is married to Andreas Papandreou, the Prime Minister of Greece. While fellow Bostonians chomped hot-dogs and watched the Red Sox lose at Fenway Park, over 100 guests enjoyed an even better fare - elegant food and conversation on diverse topics ranging from raising chickens to Star Wars. After the reception and dinner, Papandreou delivered a rousing speech appealing for more of feminism's "human ethos in the political arena." "President Reagan,: she asked rhetorically, "when you talk about strategies do you keep in mind the images of incinerated bodies - the human factor?"

The American feminist movement, she reported, has had a "fantastic impact on the world. It has become a global consciousness raising." After describing how her career of activism began at age 12, when she campaigned for her grandfather in Chicago, she encouraged women to enlarge the feminist agenda to include peace issues, despite the media's past jeerings at such efforts as "pow wow with the cows" and "folly in petticoats." The question-and-answer period was lively, lasting until 10:30. One audience member, pointing out that Jimmy Carter seemed to have more "feminine" peace and love values than Margaret Thatcher, asked whether such values weren't shaped by personality rather than by gender. And Harvard Economist John Kenneth Galbraith confessed that something more than love leads men to finally open up opportunities to women. "Yes, let us have love," he said, "but do please frighten the wits out of us." Papandreou concluded the evening with an invitation to guests to attend a conference in Athens November 7-9: Women for a Meaningful Summit.

by Shan Doherty (Correspondent, Newsweek Magazine)

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