Gloria Steinem: Writing for Rights

December 17, 2011
By AnneR BRONZE, Claremont, California
AnneR BRONZE, Claremont, California
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments

“The reason people know me is because there were so few of us. We were, like, 12 crazy women, and now there are all kinds of leadership going on,” said women’s rights advocate Gloria Steinem in an interview with the LA Times in 2010. “If I could have one wish for the women's movement worldwide, it would be to have feminist groups everywhere.”
Unlike the women of the 1950s, Steinem made relentless effort to better the treatment and view of women everywhere. Take a look at any of her many achievements, including books, documentaries, magazines, speeches, and it becomes very clear that she is one of the great society heroes of the 20th century.
From the beginning of her life, Steinem did not follow the path of the average American woman. She was against the idea of marriage. She said, “In the 1950s, once you married you became what your husband was, so it seemed like the last choice you’d ever have.” Today it seems unremarkable that women do not marry as early or as often as they did in the 1950s. This just shows how influential Steinem has been. She went on to become a freelance writer and establish herself as a feminist.
Her first big recognition came when she disguised herself as a Playboy waitress, or “Bunny,” and wrote about that experience for Show magazine in 1963. From there, she went on to help found New York magazine in 1968. However, her big break as a writer and a feminist came when she co-founded Ms. magazine, a publication primarily directed towards the need for better treatment and rights of women.
Ms. featured articles that discussed domestic violence, abortion, and frank discussion of how women were viewed by society. These topics were unprecedented in the world of journalism, as was a major, solely feminist magazine. In “Women Voters Can’t Be Trusted” (Ms., 1972) by Gloria Steinem, she writes that women are thought to be more conservative than men and always follow the example of their husbands politically. Steinem goes on to attack these presumptions and explain how women tend to act just the opposite. Steinem’s efforts for women’s rights did not stop there, though.
Steinem went on to found and co-found many organizations that worked for the rights of women. Two of the most significant are Planned Parenthood Action Fund, a pro-choice organization; National Women’s Political Caucus, an organization that works to advance the number of women in office at national and state level. She also wrote a number of books about feminism and the importance of women.
One of her books, Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, talks about the importance of accepting oneself. As reported by the official Gloria Steinem website, this publication inspired many women who were suffering from low self-esteem. Steinem once said, "We need to be long-distance runners to make a real social revolution. And you can't be a long-distance runner unless you have some inner strength."
Gloria Steinem has gone on to many other extraordinary accomplishments for the benefit of women everywhere. She now lives in New York City and continues to work for women’s rights. She reportedly said recently, “The idea of retiring is as foreign to me as the idea of hunting.”

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