Gloria Steinem, the woman, the legend

Carol Roach By Carol Roach, 15th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

In the struggle for women's rights which stems well over a century, some women made great strides in changing the social mores of the day. The plight of the poor is an ongoing topic in women’s issues and women’s rights. Today will examine the life and work of Gloria Steinem.

Gloria Steinum's Political Career

Since her youth, Gloria Steinem was a political activist for righting the wrongs of this world. Her passion had always been for social justice and equality for women. Her views did not focus solely on America but she was concerned with the women's issues globally.

She appealed to Montreal women on many levels. The Quebec civil code has not been written to protect the rights of women in general.

Gloria Steinem did not mince words she had a strong political opinion and she voiced it. She was not afraid to go against the choices her own government made.

Steinem was against the election of Bush in 2004, 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." She went on to claim, "If he is elected in 2004, abortion will be criminalized in this country."

"In Boston at a Planned Parenthood activity, Steinem accused Bush as being "a danger to health and safety," citing his antagonism to the Clean Water Act, reproductive freedom, sex education, and Aids relief."

Steinem, other women non-feminists and other feminists alike, actively voiced their opposition to the Gulf war claiming the fight for democracy was just a pretense and there were other motives behind the US involvement.

Steinem had also been a critic of the Vietnam War.

Gloria supported Anita Hill's position in the Clarence Thomas sexual harassment scandal. Steinem was reported as saying that Anita Hill would one day make Supreme Court justice herself.

Gloria Steinem 's Role in Activism since 1995

Gloria Steinem 's Role in Activism since 1995

In 1995, Steinem became an advocate for sexually abused children especially those whom she believed were sexually abused in the day care centers.

Note: Gloria Steinem is a woman with heart, her scope definitely ranges far beyond women's issues; they are humanitarian issues involving the underdog and the downtrodden. Gloria Steinem was also a strong supporter of the civil rights movement and civil rights for everyone today as well.

Clinton impeachment hearings

In the 1998 press interview regarding the Clinton's impeachment hearings Steinem was asked if she felt the president should be impeached her answer was, "Clinton should be censured for lying under oath about Lewinsky in the Paula Jones deposition, perhaps also for stupidity in answering at all." She latter defended Clinton again for sexual inappropriateness involving Kathleen Wiley.

Note: Though this statement might seem odd given her staunch support of women's rights. Whether one agrees with her stance or not, it clearly shows that Steinem will side with a man if she feels he has been wronged also.


In 2000, when Steinem was 66, she married David Bale, the father of the Christian Bale, the actor. Sadly to say the marriage ended three years later when her husband died of a brain tumor.

Common language

Steinem spoke out against the language of academics and how pretentious it really is, she said that women academics had to speak this way just to fit in yet, nobody really cared about feminist academic writings. She also said, "Academics are forced to write in language no one can understand so that they get tenure. For example, they have to say 'discourse', not 'talk'. Knowledge that is not accessible is not helpful. It becomes aerialised."

Gender Discrimination

Gloria made headlines again in the New York Times when she stated that gender discrimination was a bigger issue than even race. She defended her views by saying that black men were given the vote a half a century before any woman could. This statement was attacked with reason, white women did get the vote in 1920, but some black men and black women did not get the vote until the Voting Act Rights of 1965, and even then some were lynched for trying.

Gloria Steinem the legend

Gloria Steinem's political support

Steinem was a supporter for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama stating that both of them were champions of civil rights and women's rights issues. In the end she gave her support to Clinton.

Steinem was against Sarah Palin for vice president, she said, Palin was not qualified, and "opposes everything most other women want and need."

Steinem is also against the practice of female sexual mutilation and has striven to bring the issue to the forefront.

Steinem is in favor of same sex marriages, but she has a different view about transsexual relationships. Steinem voiced her concerns after the tennis player Renee Richard's transsexual history was announced to the press.

In reaction to the Renee Richard incident, she stated that this is "a frightening instance of what feminism could lead to" or as "living proof that feminism isn't necessary." This view that transsexual behavior was also in line with her view that female body mutilation is wrong and unhealthy. Steinem said that one transsexual should not have bearing on the whole women cause. Here also, she made one of her most famous quotes, "If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?" However, Steinem has criticized wikipedia for insinuating that she condemned transsexuals and is adamant that she never did.


All in all, Steinem is a remarkably woman and a hero. She truly is the face of women worldwide and though some people consider her a radical feminist, she was radical in that it was needed to evoke change in the era of the 1970's, but she is also one of the most versatile feminists.. She is my role model then and now.

Gloria Steinem was inducted in the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993.

Gloria Steinem has made a few speeches here in Canada. Gloria spoke at the American Sociological Association Annual Conference, in 2006, held in Montreal. Her speech covered, "Breaking Out of the Invisible Prisons."

Previous link
Beyond Playboy: The Early Career of Gloria Steinem

All photos taken from the public domain
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Activism, Family Impressions, Family Life, Feminism, Feminist, Gloria Steinem, Gloria Steinem Activist, Parental Values, Playboy Magasine, Sex Trade

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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