Brilliantly sunny Saturday, oceanfront gentle breezes, warmly modern and beautiful home on the beachfront in Malibu, fresh and delectable lunch with white, crisp wine: What a setting for a perfectly enjoyable Trusteeship dine-around at Gloria Allred’s home. But the joy of the afternoon was the camaraderie of attendees as we listened to member and Gloria’s daughter, Lisa Bloom, read excerpts from her well-received new book, Think Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World – followed by questions poised by Gloria to Lisa about her findings.
Lisa passionately believes that “we” must reclaim our brains – that we are succumbing to the allure of the tabloids and that we are on the slippery slope of societal intellectual decline, what Lisa refers to as the “Dumb American Syndrome”. She gave us tidbits of headshaking, tongue-clicking statistics, and we joined in with her dismay that women are most interested in celebrity scandals. Appalled by the fact that 23 percent of American women would rather lose their ability to read than their figures, Lisa shared her concerns about the ignorance that is infecting the country and how this epidemic affects American women, especially. Twenty-five percent of young American women would rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize. More than two-thirds of women do not know what Roe v. Wade is. She proposes that women need to reassess their priorities, put down the tabloids and become more aware of world issues.
The exchange between Lisa and Gloria was, of course, reflective of the deep love and respect these two accomplished women have for each other. The wit and loving teasing between mother and daughter set the atmosphere for an open and reflective group discussion on the dumbing down of our society and young women in particular.
An additional highlight of the afternoon was the tour of Gloria’s home that afforded us another glimpse at the other side of Gloria: Gloria Allred as a featured personality at the West Hollywood Gay Pride Parade with perhaps 20 other “Gloria Allreds”; rather, 20 Gloria Allred male impersonators. If Gloria had not been clearly positioned in a parade car, it would have been difficult to determine which was the real “Gloria Allred”!
As the enjoyable afternoon came to a close, we were given departure instructions: Eat the decadent desserts. Of course, this easy-to-obey command was made all the more pleasurable as we waited for Lisa to autograph complimentary copies of her provocative book. What a great dine-around. Thank you, Gloria. Thank you, Lisa.