Gloria Steinem, 1934

  • Gloria-Steinem-WWP

Woman Category: Activism & Feminism and MediaWoman Tags: Editor, Journalist, and NYC Women

  • HerStory

    A feminist leader, journalist, editor, social-political activist, and a spokeswoman for the American Feminist Movement.

    Born in Toledo, Ohio. As a child, the family lived in a trailer, so that her father could travel and trade antiques, until she was 10 years old and her parents got divorced, probably because of her mother’s mental illness. Steinem stayed with her mother and witnessed her struggles to hold a job due to hostility towards working women. Those experiences made her aware of women’s social and political equality. Later on, she moved to Washington, DC, to live with her older sister.
    After graduating from Smith College, Steinem granted a scholarship in India, where she worked as a Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of India and participated in protests against government policy. When she returned to the US, she worked in an organization that sent American students to a Soviet-backed youth festival, for that she was later accused of cooperation with the CIA.
    At 26, Steinem was hired as the first employee of “Help!” magazine, and her first major assignment as a journalist was an article she wrote about women’s forced choice between a career and marriage. In 1963, Steinem worked undercover as a Playboy Bunny at a Playboy Club for an article about the way women were treated in those clubs, detailing her experiences of exploitative working conditions and sexual demands. After the article was published, she was marked as a “Bunny” and struggled to find a steady job, so for the next few years, she worked as a freelance writer until she got hired by the new New York Magazine.
    At the age of 35, Steinem became a known feminist leader after publishing the article “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation.” Two years later, she co-founded, alongside 300 women, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and in 1972, together with Dorothy Pitman Hughes, she co-founded the feminist-themed magazine “Ms.” In that same year, Steinem became the first woman ever to speak at the National Press Club.
    Throughout the years, Steinem co-founded various non-profit organizations relating to human and women’s rights, among them are the Women’s Action Alliance, Choice USA, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, and the Women’s Media Center. Her lifelong activism had a significant influence on women of all over the world, and eventually, her writings and ideas, which were once considered radical, are now mainstream.

    “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men”‬

    “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men”‬


    More Interesting Anecdotes:

    • Her paternal grandmother, Pauline Perlmutter Steinem, was the president of the Ohio Women’s Suffrage, as well as the first woman to be elected to the Toledo Board of Education.
    • She was arrested while protesting against the South African apartheid system in 1984.
    • When she was 66 years old, she got married to David Bale, Christian Bale’s father.
  • More About Her Legacy
    Creations By and About Her:

    * Books she wrote
    * Fashion items inspired by her


    * Presidential Medal of Freedom
    * American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California's Bill of Rights Award
    * Inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame
    * Penney-Missouri Journalism Award
    * Emmy Citation for excellence in television writing for the TV documentary "Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories"

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  • One of Her Landmarks

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  • Woman Tags: Editor, Journalist, NYC Women

    Gloria Steinem on Why You Should Be a Feminist

    In honor of the 25th annual Women of the Year Awards, Glamour is taking a look back at some of the most memorable honorees. Watch as 2011 Lifetime Achievement Winner Gloria Steinem describes her early life, how she became involved in the women’s movement, and her hopes for young women of the future.

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    Gloria Steinem on Why You Should Be a Feminist

  • Photo credit - Shutterstock.