The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
“A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” – Gloria Steinem
One of my personal heroes, Gloria Steinem has been a champion of women’s rights and the feminist movement. Even today, at 88 years old, she continues to speak out on issues impacting women today, such as the consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade. She has not stopped using her voice to advocate for others. She inspires me and countless other women to speak up whenever we witness injustice. To honor everything she has achieved, here are some of the greatest things Gloria Steinem has accomplished during her lifetime.
Went undercover as a Playboy Bunny to write an exposé: In 1963, Gloria Steinem assumed the alias of Catherine Marie Ochs to write a piece for Show Magazine to expose the working conditions at the Playboy Club in New York City. During her time as a Bunny, Gloria became witness to and endured objectification based on the Playboy Bunny stereotype. She also became privy to the low wages Bunnies earned. Gloria’s time undercover as a Playboy Bunny not only exposed the treatment of Bunnies but also cemented her place as a journalist.
Co-founded Ms. Magazine in 1971: To counteract the typical magazines marketed towards women in the 1970s, Gloria and fellow activist Dorothy Pitman Hughes founded Ms. Magazine. Their goal was to publish feminist pieces for women everywhere to read. They were seen as radical and not believed to last, but Ms. Magazine outlasted those claims and is celebrating 50 years of publication.
Helped form the National Women’s Political Caucus: Alongside Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, and Fannie Lou Hamer, Gloria helped to found the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971. The National Women’s Political Caucus states its mission as being a “…national, pro-choice, multi-partisan, grassroots membership organization dedicated to identifying, recruiting, training, and supporting women candidates for elected and appointed office.” They have worked to increase the number of women holding political office, therefore fighting for women’s place in politics.
Has advocated for abortion and women’s healthcare rights: Gloria has long supported abortion rights and other matters relating to women’s healthcare. She has also spoken candidly about the illegal abortion she had in England at age 22. She has always included reproductive rights in her activism. Last year, in response to the threat of Roe v. Wade being overturned, Steinem said “It felt both new and angering and ancient…this is not a new issue. And the very definition of patriarchy is trying to control women and birth giving.” Despite her age, Gloria is not done fighting for abortion rights.
Has always stayed true to who she is: While accomplishing all of these historic achievements, Gloria Steinem has always stayed true to who she is. She did not give in to societal expectations or try to suppress who she is. That confidence to be yourself unabashedly is part of why I admire Gloria so much. Knowing who you are and being comfortable with yourself is an incredibly empowering thing. It gives me pride that people like Gloria exist and will change the world.