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Gloria Steinem

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Title: Gloria Steinem  
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Subject: List of feminist literature, List of American feminist literature, Andrea Dworkin, David Bale, Robin Morgan
Collection: 1934 Births, 20Th-Century American Writers, 20Th-Century Women Writers, 21St-Century American Writers, 21St-Century Women Writers, Activists Against Female Genital Mutilation, American Feminist Writers, American Feminists, American Humanists, American Journalists, American Journalists of Jewish Descent, American People of German Descent, American People of German-Jewish Descent, American People of Polish-Jewish Descent, American People of Scottish Descent, American Pro-Choice Activists, American Socialists, American Tax Resisters, American Women Activists, American Women Journalists, American Women Writers, American Women's Rights Activists, Anti-Pornography Activists, Anti-Pornography Feminists, Breast Cancer Survivors, Counterculture of the 1960S, Critics of Postmodernism, Jewish American Writers, Jewish Feminists, Jewish Humanists, Jewish Socialists, Lgbt Rights Activists from the United States, Living People, Members of the Democratic Socialists of America, People from Toledo, Ohio, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients, Radical Feminists, Smith College Alumni, Socialist Feminists, Writers from Ohio
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Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem at the Ms. Foundation for Women's 23rd annual Gloria Awards, which were named for her, on May 19, 2011.
Born Gloria Marie Steinem[1]
(1934-03-25) March 25, 1934
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
Residence New York City, New York, U.S.[2]
Nationality American[3]
Education Waite High School
Alma mater Smith College
Occupation Writer and journalist for Ms. and New York magazines[4]
Home town Toledo, Ohio
Movement Feminism[4]
Board member of Women's Media Center[5]
Spouse(s) David Bale
(2000–2003; his death)
Family Christian Bale (stepson)[6][7]

Gloria Marie Steinem (born March 25, 1934) is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader and spokeswoman for the feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 70s.[1][3][4]

She was a columnist for New York magazine and a founder of Ms. magazine.[4] In 1969, she published an article, "After Black Power, Women's Liberation,"[8] which brought her to national fame as a feminist leader.[9]

In 2005, Steinem, [10]

Steinem currently travels internationally as an organizer and lecturer and is a media spokeswoman on issues of equality.[2]


  • Early life 1
  • Journalism career 2
  • Political activism 3
  • Involvement in political campaigns 4
    • 1968 election 4.1
    • 1972 election 4.2
    • 2004 election 4.3
    • 2008 election 4.4
  • CIA ties 5
  • Personal life 6
  • Feminist positions 7
    • Abortion 7.1
    • Female genital mutilation and male circumcision 7.2
    • Feminist theory 7.3
    • Pornography 7.4
    • Same-sex marriage 7.5
    • Transgenderism 7.6
  • Awards and honors 8
  • In media 9
  • Works 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • Further reading 13
  • External links 14

Early life

Steinem was born in Toledo, Ohio, on March 25, 1934.[3] Her mother, Ruth (née Nuneviller), was a Presbyterian of Scottish and German descent, and her father, Leo Steinem, was the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany and Poland.[11][12] Her paternal grandmother, Pauline Perlmutter Steinem, was chairwoman of the educational committee of the National Woman Suffrage Association, a delegate to the 1908 International Council of Women, and the first woman to be elected to the Toledo Board of Education, as well as a leader in the movement for vocational education.[13] Pauline also rescued many members of her family from the Holocaust.[13]

The Steinems lived and traveled about in the trailer from which Leo carried out his trade as a traveling antiques dealer.[13] Before Steinem was born, her mother Ruth, then aged 34, had a "nervous breakdown" that left her an invalid, trapped in delusional fantasies that occasionally turned violent.[14] She changed "from an energetic, fun-loving, book-loving" woman into "someone who was afraid to be alone, who could not hang on to reality long enough to hold a job, and who could rarely concentrate enough to read a book."[14] Ruth spent long periods in and out of sanatoriums for the mentally ill.[14] Steinem was ten years old when her parents finally separated in 1944.[14] Her father went to California to find work, while she and her mother continued to live together in Toledo.[14]

While her parents divorced as a result of her mother's illness, it was not a result of chauvinism on the father's part, and Steinem claims to have "understood and never blamed him for the breakup."[15] Nevertheless, the impact of these events had a formative effect on her personality: while her father, a traveling salesman, had never provided much financial stability to the family, his exit aggravated their situation.[16] Steinem interpreted her mother's inability to hold on to a job as evidence of general hostility towards working women.[16] She also interpreted the general apathy of doctors towards her mother as emerging from a similar anti-woman animus.[16] Years later, Steinem described her mother's experiences as having been pivotal to her understanding of social injustices.[17]:129–138 These perspectives convinced Steinem that women lacked social and political equality.[17]

Steinem attended CIA.[22] She worked to send non-Communist American students to the 1959 World Youth Festival.[22] In 1960, she was hired by Warren Publishing as the first employee of Help! magazine.[23]

Journalism career

Esquire magazine features editor Clay Felker gave freelance writer Steinem what she later called her first "serious assignment", regarding contraception; he didn't like her first draft and had her re-write the article.[24] Her resulting 1962 article about the way in which women are forced to choose between a career and marriage preceded Betty Friedan's book The Feminine Mystique by one year.[24][25]

In 1963, while working on an article for Huntington Hartford's Show magazine, Steinem was employed as a Playboy Bunny at the New York Playboy Club.[26] The article, published in 1963 as "A Bunny's Tale", featured a photo of Steinem in Bunny uniform and detailed how women were treated at those clubs.[27] Steinem has maintained that she is proud of the work she did publicizing the exploitative working conditions of the bunnies and especially the sexual demands made of them, which skirted the edge of the law.[28][29] However, for a brief period after the article was published, Steinem was unable to land other assignments; in her words, this was "because I had now become a Bunny – and it didn't matter why."[28][30] Steinem eventually landed a job at Felker's newly founded New York magazine in 1968.[24]

In the interim, she conducted a 1964 interview with John Lennon for Cosmopolitan magazine.[31] In 1965, she wrote for NBC-TV's weekly satirical revue, That Was The Week That Was (TW3), contributing a regular segment entitled "Surrealism in Everyday Life".[32]

In 1969, she covered an abortion speak-out for New York Magazine, which was held in a church basement in Greenwich, New York.[33][34] Steinem had had an abortion herself in London at the age of 22.[35] She felt what she called a "big click" at the speak-out, and later said she didn't "begin my life as an active feminist" until that day.[34] As she recalled, "It [abortion] is supposed to make us a bad person. But I must say, I never felt that. I used to sit and try and figure out how old the child would be, trying to make myself feel guilty. But I never could! I think the person who said: 'Honey, if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament' was right. Speaking for myself, I knew it was the first time I had taken responsibility for my own life. I wasn't going to let things happen to me. I was going to direct my life, and therefore it felt positive. But still, I didn't tell anyone. Because I knew that out there it wasn't [positive]."[35] She also said, "In later years, if I'm remembered at all it will be for inventing a phrase like 'reproductive freedom' ... as a phrase it includes the freedom to have children or not to. So it makes it possible for us to make a coalition."[36]

In 1972, she co-founded the feminist-themed magazine Ms. with Dorothy Pitman Hughes; it began as a special edition of New York, and Clay Felker funded the first issue.[24] Its 300,000 test copies sold out nationwide in eight days.[37][38] Within weeks, Ms. had received 26,000 subscription orders and over 20,000 reader letters.[38] The magazine was sold to the Feminist Majority Foundation in 2001; Steinem remains on the masthead as one of six founding editors and serves on the advisory board.[38]

Also in 1972, Steinem became the first woman to speak at the National Press Club.[39]

In 1978, Steinem wrote a semi-satirical essay for Cosmopolitan titled "If Men Could Menstruate" in which she imagined a world where men menstruate instead of women. She concludes in the essay that in such a world, menstruation would become a badge of honor with men comparing their relative sufferings, rather than the source of shame that it had been for women.[40]

Political activism

In 1959, Steinem led a group of activists in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to organise the Independent Service for Information on the Vienna festival, to advocate for American participation in the World Youth Festival, a Soviet-sponsored youth event.

In 1968, Steinem signed the "War Tax Protest" pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.[41]

In 1969, she published an article, "After Black Power, Women's Liberation"[42] which brought her to national fame as a feminist leader.[9] As such she campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in its favor in 1970.[43][44] That same year she published her essay on a utopia of gender equality, "What It Would Be Like If Women Win", in Time magazine.[45]

On July 10, 1971, Steinem was one of over 300 women who founded the National Women's Political Caucus (NWPC), including such notables as Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, and Myrlie Evers-Williams.[46] As a co-convener of the Caucus, she delivered the speech "Address to the Women of America", stating in part:

This is no simple reform. It really is a revolution. Sex and race because they are easy and visible differences have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labor on which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.[47]

In 1972, she ran as a delegate for Shirley Chisholm in New York, but lost.[48]

In March 1973, she addressed the first national conference of Stewardesses for Women's Rights, which she continued to support throughout its existence.[49] Stewardesses for Women's Rights folded in the spring of 1976.[49]

Steinem, who grew up reading Wonder Woman comics, was also a key player in the restoration of Wonder Woman's powers and traditional costume, which were restored in issue #204 (January–February 1973).[50] Steinem, offended that the most famous female superhero had been depowered, had placed Wonder Woman (in costume) on the cover of the first issue of Ms. (1972) – Warner Communications, DC Comics' owner, was an investor – which also contained an appreciative essay about the character.[50][51]

In 1984 Steinem was arrested along with a number of members of Congress and civil rights activists for disorderly conduct outside the South African embassy while protesting against the South African apartheid system.[52]

At the outset of the Kate Millett, publicly opposed an incursion into the Middle East and asserted that ostensible goal of "defending democracy" was a pretense.[53]

During the Clarence Thomas sexual harassment scandal in 1991, Steinem voiced strong support for Anita Hill and suggested that one day Hill herself would sit on the Supreme Court.[54]

In 1992, Steinem co-founded

  • Official website
  • Quotations related to Gloria Steinem at Wikiquote
  • Profile at
  • Works by or about Gloria Steinem in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • Gloria Steinem Video produced by Makers: Women Who Make America (affiliated with Women Make Movies)
  • Gloria Steinem Papers at the Sophia Smith Collection

External links

  • Education of A Woman: The Life of Gloria Steinem by Carolyn Heilbrun (Ballantine Books, United States, 1995) ISBN 978-0-345-40621-7
  • Gloria Steinem: Her Passions, Politics, and Mystique by Sydney Ladensohn Stern (Birch Lane Press, 1997) ISBN 978-1-55972-409-8

Further reading

  1. ^ a b "Gloria Steinem Fast Facts". CNN. September 6, 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "The Official Website of Author and Activist Gloria Steinem – Who Is Gloria?". Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  3. ^ a b c "Gloria Steinem". Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Gloria Steinem". Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Board of Directors". Women's Media Center. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Feminist Dad of the Day: Christian Bale". Women and Hollywood. July 25, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  7. ^ Denes, Melissa (January 16, 2005). "'Feminism? It's hardly begun'". The Guardian. Retrieved December 31, 2014. 
  8. ^ Steinem, Gloria (April 7, 1969). "Gloria Steinem, After Black Power, Women's Liberation". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  9. ^ a b "Gloria Steinem, Feminist Pioneer, Leader for Women's Rights and Equality". The Connecticut Forum. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Invisible Majority – Women & the Media". Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Gloria Steinem". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Ancestry of Gloria Steinem". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  13. ^ a b c Pogrebin, Letty Cottin (March 20, 2009). "Gloria Steinem". Jewish Women's Archive. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  14. ^ a b c d e Steinem, Gloria (1983). Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. pp. 140–142.  
  15. ^ Marcello, Patricia. Gloria Steinem: A Biography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004. p. 20.
  16. ^ a b c Marcello, Patricia. Gloria Steinem: A Biography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Steinem, Gloria (1984). Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (1 ed.). New York: Henry Holt & Co. 
  18. ^ "Classmates remember Steinem's Toledo days". Toledo Free Press. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Gloria Steinem class of 1952". Western High School. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "Gloria Steinem". Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  21. ^ Bird, Kai (1992). The Chairman: John J. McCloy, the making of the American establishment. Simon & Schuster. pp. 483–484. 
  22. ^ a b "C.I.A. Subsidized Festival Trips; Hundreds of Students Were Sent to World Gatherings". The New York Times. February 21, 1967. 
  23. ^  
  24. ^ a b c d Mclellan, Dennis (July 2, 2008). "Clay Felker, 82; editor of New York magazine led New Journalism charge".  
  25. ^ Fox, Margalit (February 5, 2006). "Betty Friedan, Who Ignited Cause in 'Feminine Mystique,' Dies at 85". Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  26. ^ Kolhatkar, Sheelah (December 18, 2005). "Gloria Steinem". The New York Observer. Retrieved June 1, 2010. 
  27. ^ Steinem, Gloria (May 1963). "A Bunny's Tale" (PDF). Show. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  28. ^ a b Steinem, Gloria (1995). "I Was a Playboy Bunny" (PDF). Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  29. ^ News, ABC (2011). "Interview With Gloria Steinem". ABCNews. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  30. ^ "For feminist Gloria Steinem, the fight continues (interview)". Minnesota Public Radio. June 15, 2009. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  31. ^ Elizabeth Thomson; David Gutman (1987). The Lennon Companion: Twenty-Five Years of Comment. Da Capo Press. p. 30.  
  32. ^ Patricia Cronin Marcello (2004). Gloria Steinem: A Biography. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 14.  
  33. ^ a b c Steinem, Gloria (April 6, 1998). "30th Anniversary Issue / Gloria Steinem: First Feminist". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  34. ^ a b c d e Pogrebin, Abigail (October 30, 2011). "An Oral History of 'Ms.' Magazine". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  35. ^ a b c d Rachel Cooke (November 13, 2011). "'"Gloria Steinem: 'I think we need to get much angrier. London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  36. ^ Gilbert, Lynn & Moore, Gaylen, "Particular Passions: Talks With Women Who Shaped Our Times". Clarkson Potter, 1981. p. 166
  37. ^
  38. ^ a b c "Ms. Magazine History". December 31, 2001. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  39. ^ Ruth, Tam (December 31, 2001). "'"Gloria Steinem: No such thing as a 'feminist icon. The Washington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  40. ^ Steinem, Gloria (October 1978). "If Men Could Menstruate". Ms. 
  41. ^ "Writers and Editors War Tax Protest" January 30, 1968 New York Post
  42. ^ Steinem, Gloria (April 4, 1969). "After Black Power, Women's Liberation".  
  43. ^ Gary Donaldson (2007). Modern America: A Documentary History of the Nation Since 1945. M.E. Sharpe. p. 240.  
  45. ^ Steinem, Gloria (August 31, 1970). "What It Would Be Like If Women Win". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  46. ^ Jodi O'Brien (26 November 2008). Encyclopedia of Gender and Society. SAGE Publications. pp. 652–.  
  47. ^ Johnson Lewis, Jone. "Gloria Steinem Quotes". About. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  48. ^  
  49. ^ a b "Guide to the Records of Stewardesses for Women's Rights WAG 061".  
  50. ^ a b McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle.  
  51. ^  
  52. ^ "Arrested at embassy". Gadsden Times. December 20, 1984. p. A10. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  53. ^ Steinem, Gloria (January 20, 1991). "We Learned the Wrong Lessons in Vietnam; A Feminist Issue Still". New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  54. ^ Sontag, Deborah (April 26, 1992). "Anita Hill and Revitalizing Feminism". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  55. ^ "Choice USA". Choice USA. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  56. ^  
  57. ^  
  58. ^ "Library Resource Finder: Table of Contents for: Sisterhood is forever : the women's anth". Retrieved 2015-10-15. 
  59. ^ a b "Gloria Steinem Pictures – Show At "Chime For Change: The Sound Of Change Live" Concert". Zimbio. May 31, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  60. ^ "Gloria Steinem Helps UN Women Unveil Beijing+20 Campaign". Zimbio. July 1, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  61. ^ Chime For Change
  62. ^ Gilbert, Lynn (December 10, 2012). Particular Passions: Gloria Steinem. Women of Wisdom Series (1st ed.). New York, NY: Lynn Gilbert Inc.  
  63. ^ "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle". The Phrase Finder. Retrieved November 11, 2014. 
  64. ^ Letters, Time magazine, US edition, September 16, 2000 and Australian edition, October 9, 2000. Retrieved November 11, 2014
  65. ^ Bardi, Jennifer (14 August 2012). "The Humanist Interview with Gloria Steinem". Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  66. ^ Gladstone, Rick (11 March 2015). "With Plan to Walk Across DMZ, Women Aim for Peace in Korea". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  67. ^ North Korea Has Given A Gloria Steinem-Led Peace March The Thumbs Up - BuzzFeed News
  68. ^ WomenCrossDMZ Peace Walk 2015
  69. ^ North Korea supports Gloria Steinem-led women's walk across the DMZ | World news | The Guardian
  70. ^ Lazo, Caroine. Gloria Steinem: Feminist Extraordinaire. New York: Lerner Publications, 1998. pp. 28.
  71. ^ Miroff, Bruce. The Liberals' Moment: The McGovern Insurgency and the Identity Crisis of the Democratic Party. University Press of Kansas, 2007. pp. 206
  72. ^ Miroff. p. 207.
  73. ^ Harper's Magazine October 1972.
  74. ^ Evans, Joni (April 16, 2009). "Gloria Steinem: Still Committing 'Outrageous Acts' at 75". Wow. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  75. ^ "Harper's Magazine Archives". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  76. ^ "Buzzflash Interview". February 5, 2004. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  77. ^ """Feminist Pioneer Gloria Steinem: "Bush is a Danger to Our Health and Safety. July 26, 2004. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  78. ^ Steinem, Gloria (February 7, 2007). "Right Candidates, Wrong Question". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  79. ^ Feldman, Claudia (September 18, 2007). "Has Gloria Steinem mellowed? No way". The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  80. ^ a b Steinem, Gloria (January 8, 2008). "Women Are Never Front-Runners". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  81. ^ Gharib, Ali (January 16, 2008). "Democratic Race Sheds Issues for Identities". Inter Press News. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  82. ^ Stanage, Niall (March 8, 2008). "Stumping for Clinton, Steinem Says McCain's POW Cred Is Overrated". New York Observer. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  83. ^ Steinem, Gloria (September 4, 2008). "Palin: wrong woman, wrong message". LA Times. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  84. ^ "Gloria Steinem and the CIA".  
  85. ^ "Gloria Steinem Spies on Students for the CIA".  
  86. ^ Harrington, Stephanie (July 4, 1976). "It Changed My Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  87. ^ Kumar, Arvind (January 21, 2015). "Religious Crusades of the CIA". Indiafacts. 
  88. ^ Holt, Patricia (September 22, 1995). "Making Ms.Story / The biography of Gloria Steinem, a woman of controversy and contradictions". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  89. ^ a b c d Gorney, Cynthia (November–December 1995). "Gloria". Mother Jones. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  90. ^ "Feminist icon Gloria Steinem first-time bride at 66". September 5, 2000. Archived from the original on September 17, 2007. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  91. ^ von Zeilbauer, Paul (January 1, 2004). "David Bale, 62, Activist and businessman". The New York Times. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  92. ^ Melissa Denes. Feminism? It's hardly begun' | World news"'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-02-26. 
  93. ^ "Marianne Schnall Interview". April 3, 1995. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  94. ^ Steinem, Gloria (July 1989), A Basic Human Right 18 (1–2),  
  95. ^ Copelon, Rhonda; Kolbert, Kathryn (July 1989), Imperfect Justice 18 (1–2),  
  96. ^ Benjamin, Scott (January 22, 2006). "No Slowdown For Gloria Steinem". CBS News. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  97. ^ a b c "The International Crime of Female Genital Mutilation," by Gloria Steinem. Ms., March 1979, p. 65.
  98. ^ Nussbaum, Martha C. Sex & Social Justice. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. pp. 118–129.
  99. ^ "What have FGC opponents said publicly about male genital cutting?". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  100. ^ a b Denes, Melissa (January 17, 2005). "'Feminism? It's hardly begun'". London: The Guardian. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  101. ^ a b c d Erotica and Pornography: A Clear and Present Difference. Ms. November 1978, p. 53. & Pornography—Not Sex but the Obscene Use of Power. Ms. August 1977, p. 43. Both retrieved November 16, 2014.
  102. ^ "What Would It Be Like If Women Win". Associated Press. August 31, 1970. Archived from the original on November 16, 2014. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  103. ^ Steptoe, Sonja; Steinem, Gloria (March 28, 2004). "10 Questions For Gloria Steinem". Time Magazine. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  104. ^ "Signatories". Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  105. ^ a b c Steinem, Gloria (October 2, 2013). "Op-ed: On Working Together Over Time". Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  106. ^ "The Lifetime Leadership Award, Gloria Steinem". 2014. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  107. ^ "The 75 Greatest Women of All Time". Esquire Magazine. May 2010. Retrieved November 9, 2014. 
  108. ^ "Read a Peace Report- Remembering our friend and colleague, Efua Dorkenoo". Equality Now. October 28, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  109. ^ Glamour Magazine. "The Most Inspiring Female Celebrities, Entrepreneurs, and Political Figures:". Glamour. 
  110. ^ Sophie Rosenblum (May 24, 2010). "Women Celebrated and Supported at the 22nd Annual Gloria Awards". NoVo Foundation. Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  111. ^ Marianne Garvey, Brian Niemietz with Molly Friedman (May 11, 2014). "Denzel Washington dining out at SoHo hotspot causes a spicy fray". NY Daily News. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  112. ^ "Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to 16 Americans". Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  113. ^ Wilson, Teddy. If We Each Have a Torch, There's a Lot More Light': Gloria Steinem Accepts the Presidential Medal of Freedom"'". Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  114. ^ "Women's Media Center Congratulates Co-Founder Gloria Steinem on Presidential Medal of Freedom | Women's Media Center". August 8, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  115. ^ Zernike, Kate (26 September 2014). "Rutgers to Endow Chair Named for Gloria Steinem". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  116. ^ a b Lin Lan (September 29, 2014). "Rutgers endows chair for feminist icon Gloria Steinem". The Daily Targum. Retrieved October 5, 2014. 
  117. ^ "Congressional Record Volume 153, Number 18". U.S. Congress. January 30, 2007. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  118. ^ Wulf, Steve (2015-03-23). "Supersisters: Original Roster". Retrieved 2015-06-04. 
  119. ^ Bridget Berry. "Gloria Steinem". Wagner College. Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  120. ^ Bryan-Paul Frost; Jeffrey Sikkenga (1 January 2003). History of American Political Thought. Lexington Books. pp. 711–.  
  121. ^ McNamara, Mary (August 15, 2011). "'"Television review: 'Gloria: In Her Own Words. Los Angeles Times. 
  122. ^ Bahadur, Nina (September 9, 2013). "Gloria Steinem 'Female Force' Comic Book Looks Seriously Amazing". Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  123. ^ Romy Zipken (September 10, 2013). "Gloria Steinem Is A Comic Book Star". Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  124. ^ "Gloria Steinem Comic Book Joins a Strong 'Female Force' Not to be Reckoned With | VITAMIN W". September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  125. ^ Radish, Christina (2013). "Gloria Steinem Talks PBS Documentary MAKERS: WOMEN WHO MAKE AMERICA, the Current State of Women's Rights, Today's Most Inspiring Women, & More". Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  126. ^ Sarah Fabiny, Max Hergenrother, and Nancy Harrison (26 December 2014). Who Is Gloria Steinem?. Penguin Group US.  
  127. ^ "The Sixties - Season 1, Episode 8: The Times They Are-a-Changin', aired 7/24/2014". 2014. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 
  128. ^ The Good Wife': Good Law? - Season 6, Episode 3"'". Celebrity Justice. Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  129. ^ "Gloria Steinem Papers, 1940–2000 [ongoing], 237 boxes (105.75 linear ft.), Collection number: MS 237". Sophia Smith Collection. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 


See also

  • The Thousand Indias (1957)
  • The Beach Book (1963), New York: Viking Press. OCLC 1393887
  • Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (1983), New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. ISBN 978-0-03-063236-5
  • Marilyn: Norma Jean (1986), with George Barris, New York: Holt. ISBN 978-0-8050-0060-3
  • Revolution from Within (1992), Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-81240-5
  • Moving beyond Words (1993), New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-64972-2
  • Doing Sixty & Seventy (2006), San Francisco: Elders Academy Press. ISBN 978-0-9758744-2-4
  • My Life on the Road (2015), New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-679-45620-9


The Gloria Steinem Papers are held in the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College, under collection number MS 237.[129]

Also in 2014, Steinem appeared in Season 6, Episode 3 of the television show The Good Wife.[128]

Also in 2014, Steinem appeared in Season 1, Episode 8 of the television show The Sixties.[127]

In 2014, Who Is Gloria Steinem?, by Sarah Fabiny, was published.[126]

Also in 2013, Steinem was featured in the documentary MAKERS: Women Who Make America about the feminist movement.[125]

In 2013, Female Force: Gloria Steinem, a comic book by Melissa Seymour, was published.[122][123][124]

In 2011, Gloria: In Her Own Words, a documentary, first aired.[121]

In the musical "Legally Blonde," Steinem is mentioned in the scene where Elle Woods wears a flashy Bunny costume to a party, and must pretend to be dressed as Gloria Steinem "researching her feminine manifesto 'I Was A Playboy Bunny'."

In 1997, Gloria Steinem: Her Passions, Politics, and Mystique, by Sydney Ladensohn Stern, was published.[120]

In 1995, Education of a Woman: The Life of Gloria Steinem, by Carolyn Heilbrun, was published.[119]

In media

  • American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California's Bill of Rights Award[2]
  • American Humanist Association's 2012 Humanist of the Year (2012)[2]
  • Biography magazine's 25 most influential women in America (Steinem was listed as one of them)[2]
  • Clarion award[2]
  • DVF Lifetime Leadership Award (2014)[106]
  • Emmy Citation for excellence in television writing[2]
  • Esquire magazine's 75 greatest women of all time (Steinem was listed as one of them) (2010)[107]
  • Equality Now's international human rights award, given jointly to her and Efua Dorkenoo (2000) [108]
  • Front Page award[2]
  • Glamour magazine's "The 75 Most Important Women of the Past 75 Years" (Steinem was listed as one of them) (2014) [109]
  • Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund's Liberty Award[2]
  • The Ms. Foundation for Women's Gloria Awards, given annually since 1988, are named after Steinem.[110]
  • National Gay Rights Advocates Award[2]
  • National Magazine awards[2]
  • National Women's Hall of Fame inductee (1993)[2]
  • New York Women's Foundation's Century Award (2014)[111]
  • Parenting magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award (1995)[2]
  • Penney-Missouri Journalism Award[2]
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom (2013)[112][113][114]
  • Rutgers University announced the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in September 2014.[115] The Chair will fund teaching and research for someone (not necessarily a woman) who exemplifies Steinem's values of equal representation in the media.[116] This person will teach at least one undergraduate course per semester.[116]
  • Sara Curry Humanitarian Award (2007)[117]
  • Simmons College's Doctorate of Human Justice[2]
  • Society of Professional Journalists' Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award[2]
  • Supersisters trading card set (card number 32 featured Steinem's name and picture) (1979)[118]
  • United Nations' Ceres Medal[2]
  • United Nations' Society of Writers Award[2]
  • University of Missouri School of Journalism Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism[2]
  • Women's Sports Journalism Award[2]

Awards and honors

On October 2, 2013, Steinem clarified her remarks on transsexualism in an op-ed for The Advocate, writing that critics failed to consider that her 1977 essay was "written in the context of global protests against routine surgical assaults, called female genital mutilation by some survivors."[105] Steinem later in the piece expressed unequivocal support for transgender people, saying that transgender people "including those who have transitioned, are living out real, authentic lives. Those lives should be celebrated, not questioned."[105] She also apologized for any pain her words might have caused.[105]

In 1977, Steinem expressed disapproval that the heavily publicized sex reassignment surgery of tennis player Renée Richards had been characterized as "a frightening instance of what feminism could lead to" or as "living proof that feminism isn't necessary."[17]:206–210 Steinem wrote, "At a minimum, it was a diversion from the widespread problems of sexual inequality."[17]:206–210 She also wrote that, while she supported the right of individuals to identify as they choose, she claimed that, in many cases, transsexuals "surgically mutilate their own bodies" in order to conform to a gender role that is inexorably tied to physical body parts.[17]:206–210 She concluded that "feminists are right to feel uncomfortable about the need for and uses of transsexualism."[17]:206–210 The article concluded with what became one of Steinem's most famous quotes: "If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?"[17]:206–210 Although clearly meant in the context of transsexuality, the quote is frequently mistaken as a general statement about feminism.[17]:206–210


Although Steinem did not mention or advocate same-sex marriage in any published works or interviews for more than three decades, she again expressed support for same-sex marriage in the early 2000s, stating in 2004 that "[t]he idea that sexuality is only okay if it ends in reproduction oppresses women—whose health depends on separating sexuality from reproduction—as well as gay men and lesbians."[103] Steinem is also a signatory of the 2008 manifesto, "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision For All Our Families and Relationships", which advocates extending legal rights and privileges to a wide range of relationships, households, and families.[104]

What will exist is a variety of alternative life-styles. Since the population explosion dictates that childbearing be kept to a minimum, parents-and-children will be only one of many "families": couples, age groups, working groups, mixed communes, blood-related clans, class groups, creative groups. Single women will have the right to stay single without ridicule, without the attitudes now betrayed by "spinster" and "bachelor." Lesbians or homosexuals will no longer be denied legally binding marriages, complete with mutual-support agreements and inheritance rights. Paradoxically, the number of homosexuals may get smaller. With fewer over-possessive mothers and fewer fathers who hold up an impossibly cruel or perfectionist idea of manhood, boys will be less likely to be denied or reject their identity as males.[102]

In an essay published in Time magazine on August 31, 1970, "What Would It Be Like If Women Win," Steinem wrote about same-sex marriage in the context of the "Utopian" future she envisioned, writing:

Same-sex marriage

Steinem has criticized pornography, which she distinguishes from erotica, writing: "Erotica is as different from pornography as love is from rape, as dignity is from humiliation, as partnership is from slavery, as pleasure is from pain."[17]:219[101] Steinem's argument hinges on the distinction between reciprocity versus domination, as she writes, "Blatant or subtle, pornography involves no equal power or mutuality. In fact, much of the tension and drama comes from the clear idea that one person is dominating the other."[17]:219[101] On the issue of same-sex pornography, Steinem asserts, "Whatever the gender of the participants, all pornography including male-male gay pornography is an imitation of the male-female, conqueror-victim paradigm, and almost all of it actually portrays or implies enslaved women and master."[17]:219[101] Steinem has also cited "snuff films" as a serious threat to women.[17]:219[101]


Steinem has frequently voiced her disapproval of the obscurantism and abstractions some claim to be prevalent in feminist academic theorizing.[89][100] She said, "Nobody cares about feminist academic writing. That's careerism. These poor women in academia have to talk this silly language that nobody can understand in order to be accepted ... But I recognize the fact that we have this ridiculous system of tenure, that the whole thrust of academia is one that values education, in my opinion, in inverse ratio to its usefulness—and what you write in inverse relationship to its understandability."[89] Steinem later singled out deconstructionists like Judith Butler for criticism, saying, "I always wanted to put a sign up on the road to Yale saying, 'Beware: Deconstruction Ahead'. Academics are forced to write in language no one can understand so that they get tenure. They have to say 'discourse', not 'talk'. Knowledge that is not accessible is not helpful. It becomes aerialised."[100]

Feminist theory

On male circumcision, she commented, "These patriarchal controls limit men's sexuality too ... That's why men are asked symbolically to submit the sexual part of themselves and their sons to patriarchal authority, which seems to be the origin of male circumcision, a practice that, even as advocates admit, is medically unnecessary 90% of the time. Speaking for myself, I stand with many brothers in eliminating that practice too."[99]

In 1979, Steinem wrote the article on female genital mutilation that brought it into the American public's consciousness; the article, "The International Crime of Female Genital Mutilation," was published in the March 1979 issue of Ms. magazine.[17]:292[97] The article reported on the "75 million women suffering with the results of genital mutilation."[17]:292[97] According to Steinem, "The real reasons for genital mutilation can only be understood in the context of the patriarchy: men must control women's bodies as the means of production, and thus repress the independent power of women's sexuality."[17]:292[97] Steinem's article contains the basic arguments that would later be developed by philosopher Martha Nussbaum.[98]

Female genital mutilation and male circumcision

She credited the Webster v. Reproductive Health Services hearings she covered[94][95] for New York Magazine in 1989 as the event that turned her into an activist.[96]

It [abortion] is supposed to make us a bad person. But I must say, I never felt that. I used to sit and try and figure out how old the child would be, trying to make myself feel guilty. But I never could! I think the person who said: 'Honey, if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament' was right. Speaking for myself, I knew it was the first time I had taken responsibility for my own life. I wasn't going to let things happen to me. I was going to direct my life, and therefore it felt positive. But still, I didn't tell anyone. Because I knew that out there it wasn't [positive].[35]

Steinem is for abortion rights.[33][34] She had an abortion herself in London at the age of 22.[35] In 1969 she covered an abortion speak-out for New York Magazine, which was held in a church basement in Greenwich, New York.[33][34] She felt what she called a "big click" at the speak-out, and later said she didn't "begin my life as an active feminist" until that day.[34] As she recalled,


Although most frequently considered a liberal feminist, Steinem has repeatedly characterized herself as a radical feminist.[93] More importantly, she has repudiated categorization within feminism as "nonconstructive to specific problems," saying: "I've turned up in every category. So it makes it harder for me to take the divisions with great seriousness."[89] Nevertheless, on concrete issues, Steinem has staked firm positions, as shown below:

Feminist positions

Previously, she had had a four-year relationship with the publisher Mortimer Zuckerman.[92]

On September 3, 2000, at age 66, Steinem married David Bale, father of actor Christian Bale.[20] The wedding was performed at the home of her friend Wilma Mankiller, the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.[90] Steinem and Bale were married for only three years before he died of brain lymphoma on December 30, 2003, at age 62.[91]

Steinem was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1986[88] and trigeminal neuralgia in 1994.[89]

Personal life

In May 1975, Redstockings, a radical feminist group, raised the question of whether Steinem had continuing ties with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and whether she had been "meteorically installed" as the leader of the movement.[84][85] Though she admitted to having worked for a CIA-financed foundation in the late 1950s and early 1960s (Independent Research Service), and acknowledged these ties in interviews given to the New York Times and Washington Post in 1967 in the wake of the Ramparts magazine CIA exposures (nearly two years before Steinem attended her first Redstockings or feminist meeting), Steinem in 1975 denied any continuing involvement.[86] An essay, 'The Religious Crusades of the CIA,' in the popular online magazine Indiafacts has noted that Gloria Steinem visited Kerala and worked with an American Protestant missionary in 1957 which falls into the timeframe described by Daniel Patrick Moynihan in his admission that the CIA interfered in Indian politics.[87]

CIA ties

Following McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, Steinem penned an op-ed in which she labeled Palin an "unqualified woman" who "opposes everything most other women want and need," described her nomination speech as "divisive and deceptive", called for a more inclusive Republican Party, and concluded that Palin resembled "Phyllis Schlafly, only younger."[83]

Steinem again drew attention for, according to the New York Observer, seeming "to denigrate the importance of John McCain's time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam"; Steinem's broader argument "was that the media and the political world are too admiring of militarism in all its guises."[82]

She also made headlines for a New York Times op-ed in which she cited gender and not race as "probably the most restricting force in American life".[80] She elaborated, "Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of any race were allowed to mark a ballot, and generally have ascended to positions of power, from the military to the boardroom, before any women."[80] This was attacked, however, from critics saying that white women were given the vote unabridged in 1920, whereas many blacks, female or male, could not vote until the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and some were lynched for trying, and that many white women advanced in the business and political worlds before black women and men.[81]

Nevertheless, Steinem endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton, citing her broader experience, and saying that the nation was in such bad shape it might require two terms of Clinton and two of Obama to fix it.[79]

Both Senators Clinton and Obama are [78]

Steinem was an active participant in the 2008 presidential campaign, and praised both the Democratic front-runners, commenting,

Steinem at Brighton High School, Brighton, Colorado, in November 2008

2008 election

In the run-up to the 2004 election, Steinem voiced fierce criticism of the Bush administration, asserting, "There has never been an administration that has been more hostile to women's equality, to reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right, and has acted on that hostility," adding, "If he is elected in 2004, abortion will be criminalized in this country."[76] At a Planned Parenthood event in Boston, Steinem declared Bush "a danger to health and safety," citing his antagonism to the Clean Water Act, reproductive freedom, sex education, and AIDS relief.[77]

2004 election

The cover of Harper's that month read, "Womanlike, they did not want to get tough with their man, and so, womanlike, they got screwed."[75]

However, Germaine Greer flatly contradicted Steinem's account, reporting, "Jacqui Ceballos called from the crowd to demand abortion rights on the Democratic platform, but Bella [Abzug] and Gloria stared glassily out into the room," thus killing the abortion rights platform," and asking "Why had Bella and Gloria not helped Jacqui to nail him on abortion? What reticence, what loserism had afflicted them?"[73] Steinem later recalled that the 1972 Convention was the only time Greer and Steinem ever met.[74]

The consensus of the meeting of women delegates held by the caucus had been to fight for the minority plank on reproductive freedom; indeed our vote had supported the plank nine to one. So fight we did, with three women delegates speaking eloquently in its favor as a constitutional right. One male Right-to-Life zealot spoke against, and Shirley MacLaine also was an opposition speaker, on the grounds that this was a fundamental right but didn't belong in the platform. We made a good showing. Clearly we would have won if McGovern's forces had left their delegates uninstructed and thus able to vote their consciences.[17]:100–110

McGovern ultimately excised the abortion issue from the party's platform, and recent publications show McGovern was deeply conflicted on the issue.[72] Steinem later wrote this description of the events:

Steinem was reluctant to re-join the McGovern campaign, as although she had brought in McGovern's single largest campaign contributor in 1968, she "still had been treated like a frivolous pariah by much of McGovern's campaign staff." In April 1972, Steinem remarked that he "still doesn't understand the Women's Movement" she said.[17]:114

1972 election

McGovern lost the nomination at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and Steinem later wrote of her astonishment at Hubert Humphrey's "refusal even to suggest to Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley that he control the rampaging police and the bloodshed in the streets."[17]:96

On a late-night radio show, Steinem garnered attention for declaring, "[71] In 1968, Steinem was chosen to pitch the arguments to McGovern as to why he should enter the presidential race that year; he agreed, and Steinem "consecutively or simultaneously served as pamphlet writer, advance "man", fund raiser, lobbyist of delegates, errand runner, and press secretary."[17]:95

A proponent of civil rights and fierce critic of the Vietnam War, Steinem was initially drawn to Senator Eugene McCarthy because of his "admirable record" on those issues, but in meeting him and hearing him speak, she found him "cautious, uninspired, and dry."[17]:87 As the campaign progressed, Steinem became baffled at "personally vicious" attacks that McCarthy leveled against his primary opponent Robert Kennedy, even as "his real opponent, Hubert Humphrey, went free."[17]:88

1968 election

Steinem's involvement in presidential campaigns stretches back to her support of Adlai Stevenson in the 1952 presidential campaign.[70]

Involvement in political campaigns

As for 2015, she joined the thirty leading international women peacemakers and became an honorary co-chairwoman of 2015 Women's Walk For Peace In Korea with Mairead Maguire. The group's main goal is to go against disarmament and seek Korea's reunification. It will be holding international peace symposiums both in Pyongyang and Seoul in which women from both North Korea and South Korea can share experiences and ideas of mobilizing women to stop the Korean crisis. The group's specific hope is to walk cross the 2-mile wide Korean Demilitarized Zone that separates North Korea and South Korea which is meant to be a symbolic action taken for peace in the Korean peninsular suffering for 70 years after its division at the end of World War II. It is especially believed that the role of women in this act would help and support the reunification of family members divided by the split prolonged for 70 years.[66][67][68][69]

Another phrase sometimes wrongly attributed to Steinem is, "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." Steinem herself attributed it to "an old Irish woman taxi driver in Boston," who she said she and Florynce Kennedy met.[65]

Contrary to popular belief, Steinem did not coin the feminist slogan "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." Although she helped popularize it, the phrase is actually attributable to Irina Dunn.[63] When Time magazine published an article attributing the saying to Steinem, Steinem wrote a letter saying the phrase had been coined by Dunn.[64]

Steinem has stated, "I think the fact that I've become a symbol for the women's movement is somewhat accidental. A woman member of Congress, for example, might be identified as a member of Congress; it doesn't mean she's any less of a feminist but she's identified by her nearest male analog. Well, I don't have a male analog so the press has to identify me with the movement. I suppose I could be referred to as a journalist, but because Ms. is part of a movement and not just a typical magazine, I'm more likely to be identified with the movement. There's no other slot to put me in."[62]

On June 1, 2013 Steinem performed on stage at the "Chime For Change: The Sound Of Change Live" Concert at Twickenham Stadium in London, England.[59] Later in 2014, UN Women began its commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, and as part of that campaign Steinem (and others) spoke at the Apollo Theater in New York City.[60] Chime For Change funded by Gucci, focusing on using innovative approaches to raise funds and awareness especially regarding girls and women.[59] [61]

[58] She contributed the piece "The Media and the Movement: A User's Guide" to the 2003 anthology

In 1993 Steinem co-produced and narrated an Emmy Award winning TV documentary for HBO about child abuse, called, "Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories."[2] Also in 1993, she and Rosilyn Heller co-produced an original TV movie for Lifetime, "Better Off Dead," which examined the parallel forces that both oppose abortion and support the death penalty.[2]

[57][56] [55]

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