born 1934

Gloria Steinem. Feminist icon. Writer. Speaker. Stirrer-upper and "hope-aholic". And, one-time aspiring tap dancer.

Born in 1934 in Ohio, feminism + inequality weren't on her radar until after college. Known—and ridiculed—for going undercover as a Playboy Bunny, she wrote for women's and fashion magazines {covering increasingly edgy topics over time} before helping start New York Magazine in the late 1960s. 

She's best known for co-founding the groundbreaking Ms. Magazine with her National Women's Political Caucus co-founder Letty Cottin Pogrebin and others. She brought women's lib out of urban salons + college dorms and into living rooms everywhere. At 80, she's still at it.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Gloria Steinem (22)

"Once upon a time … a Liberated Woman was somebody who had sex before marriage and a job afterward."

After black power, women's liberation | april 1969

"Women's liberation will be men's liberation, too."

After black power, women's liberation | april 1969

"Never in my life have I identified myself as a Christian, but wherever there is antisemitism, I identify as a Jew."

Gloria Steinem | unknown

"The challenge to all of us…is to live a revolution, not to die for one."

Living the Revolution | may 1970

"Divisions of age, race, class, and sex are old-fashioned and destructive."

Living the Revolution | may 1970

"We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism."

Address to the Women of America | june 1971

"A movement is only composed of people moving."

Moving Beyond Words | may 1994

"Whether we conform or fight it, the 'it' is still the problem."

Moving Beyond Words | may 1994

"The idea of freedom is contagious."

Writers & Company | january 2001

"When I got to the point of serious opposition, I thought it was a step forward from ridicule."

Women's Media Center | january 2011

"Now we know that women can do what men can do...but we don’t know that men can do what women can do."

Gloria Steinem on Progress and Women's Rights | april 2012

"The women's movement and the civil rights movement and the Chinese revolution and practically all big change starts with small groups. You can't do it by yourself."

Makers: Women Who Make America | february 2013

"We learn from difference, not from sameness."

Presidential Medal of Freedom | november 2013

"There's no emotion more revolutionary than empathy."

Makers Conference | february 2014

"I'm not just a dreamer, I'm a hope-aholic."

Makers Conference | february 2014

"It was always clear to me that feminists were going to be called lesbians…so the only answer was to make clear that being a lesbian was as honorable as any other way of living."

New York magazine | march 2014

"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."

Gloria Steinem's website | viewed | july 22, 2014

"Actually, 'yes' is perhaps the most erotic word in the English language."

'Yes' is Better than 'No' | september 2014

"Everyone worries about what we should be doing. Do whatever you can."

Forever Young: A Public Dialogue between bell hooks & Gloria Steinem | october 2014

"I thought they invented the feminist movement. I’ve learned feminism disproportionately from black women."

Women of Power Summit | march 2015

"Birds need a nest and they still fly."

Fresh Air on NPR | october 2015

"Our bodies are instruments, not ornaments."

Our Shared Shelf conversation | february 2016
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curated with care by Meghan Miller Brawley {july 2014 ~ updated may 2015}