Monday, March 25, 2013

Gloria Steinem

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” —Gloria Steinem

Born this day in 1934: GLORIA STEINEM, journalist, author, political activist, organizer, and feminist icon; co-founder of the National Women's Political Caucus and Ms. magazine

Steinem was a social activist for many causes before becoming the figurehead of the second wave of feminism. Always a coalition-builder, she has worked to combat sexism, racism, heterosexism, ageism, pornography, child abuse, and poor working conditions for migrant farmers. She was a founder of New York magazine, Ms. magazine, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Women’s Action Alliance, and the Coalition of Labor Union Women. In the 1970s she campaigned across the country for support of the Equal Rights Amendment. Steinem is the author of several books, including a collection of her essays, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (1983); Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem (1992); Moving Beyond Words (1994); and Doing Sixty and Seventy (2006).
Steinem is the recipient of numerous awards of recognition and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993. She continues her work, traveling and speaking in the United States and abroad. Go here for a calendar of her current and upcoming appearances.

Witty and incisive, Steinem is famous for boiling down salient issues into a few choice bon mots. Here’s a sampling:

The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.
The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving.
There are really not many jobs that actually require a penis or a vagina, and all other occupations should be open to everyone.
I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.
Most women's magazines simply try to mold women into bigger and better consumers.
Work is valued by the social value of the worker.
The authority of any governing institution must stop at its citizen’s skin.
A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.
No man can call himself liberal, or radical, or even a conservative advocate of fair play, if his work depends in any way on the unpaid or underpaid labor of women at home, or in the office.
But the problem is that when I go around and speak on campuses, I still don't get young men standing up and saying, “How can I combine career and family?”
A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.
A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.
A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.
Unless we include a job as part of every citizen's right to autonomy and personal fulfillment, women will continue to be vulnerable to someone else's idea of what need is.
Men should think twice before making widowhood woman’s only path to power.

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1 comment:

  1. Do you have a source for any of her quotes? I'm particularly interested to know where and when she said, "A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space."