“Power can be taken, but not given. The process of taking is empowerment in itself.” said Gloria Steinem. Gloria Steinem has been a social political activist and american feminist since the late 1960’s. Her activism was very powerful to society as women were portrayed as housewives who cooked, cleaned and took care of children. She is a woman who inspired thousands of people in the world with her activism.
One late night Gloria Marie Steinem was born on March 25, 1934 in Toledo, Ohio. She is the younger sister to Susane Steinem Patch, and daughter to Ruth and Leo Steinem. She studied at Waite School and went to Smith College. After she finished her degree, she received a scholarship to study in India. Gloria spent two years there where her journey began.
Gloria’s focus was on feminism, women’s rights and gender equality. Gloria taught us that you can be funny, but still pretty. People used to believe that feminism meant you were unattractive and that you lacked humor, but Gloria proved those stereotypes wrong. Gloria once quoted that feminism “is being possessed of both a sense of humor and good looks…nice, friendly, feminine…the long hair expertly layered, the long fingernails expertly manicured.” Like any woman at her time, she got a big reaction, and she continued to break rules. She also taught us to keep fighting for our rights, like starting protests and speaking out with other powerful women. Gloria Steinem worked with many feminist actresses such as Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan to help make women visble and powerful.
Gloria Steinem’s rise to fame as a feminist leader came after she published an article titled “ After Black Power, Women’s Liberation.” She campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment and she fought and published essays on gender equality.
Gloria was co-founder of Ms magazine, which sold out in a week. This was also the first magazine to be fully created by women. This proved to a lot of women and men that girls had bigger ambitions than becoming a wife and a mother.
Dorothy Pitman , a feminist herself, also co-founded Ms Magazine with Gloria. Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan helped Gloria with forming the National Women’s Political Caucus, working on behalf of women’s issues.
Like everybody, Gloria was inspired by someone also. Gloria was inspired by Gandhi, who was all about peace, and non-violence. Her message was mainly communicated by speaking out with talk show hosts, journalism and interviews.
Although Gloria had many supporters, there were also mixed responses to her work. A group of feminist called the Redstockings critized and questioned her work because she was pretty. The Redstockings were a radical group who rejected and were critical of feminist groups like the National Organization for Women. They felt Gloria’s group was ignoring the interpersonal power of men over women. But some others thought that this was great and that she was putting her word out about feminism.
Gloria is a woman who inspired thousands of people. She put her words out that there should be more gender equality and feminism, which will make a huge impact on society, but most importantly, she taught us to keep fighting for our rights.
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