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Social activist, writer, editor, and lecturer Gloria Steinem has been an outspoken champion of women's rights since the late 1960s.
Watch a short video about Gloria Steinem and uncover what this journalist did to fight for women's rights.
Gloria Steinhem is a key figure in the woman's movement and feminism. Her writing has helped change the lives of women around the world. Video courtesy of Open Road Media.
Watch a short video about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and how she influenced a generation of women suffragettes, including Susan B. Anthony.
Susan B. Anthony was a prominent women's rights activist in 19th century America who initiated the women's suffrage movement. She was active in the anti-slavery movement before the Civil War.
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Gloria Steinem was born March 25, 1934, in Toledo, Ohio. She became a freelance writer after college and grew more and more engaged in the women's movement and feminism. She helped create both New York and Ms. magazines, helped form the National Women's Political Caucus, and is the author of many books and essays. A breast cancer survivor, Steinem celebrated her 75th birthday in 2009.
"The art of acting morally is behaving as if everything we do matters."
"Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry."
Social activist, writer, editor, and lecturer. Born on March 25, 1934, in Toledo, Ohio. Since the late 1960s, Gloria Steinem has been an outspoken champion of women's rights. She had an unusual upbringing, spending part of the year in Michigan and the winters in Florida or California. With all this traveling, Steinem did not attend school on a regular basis until she was 11.
Around this time, Steinem's parents divorced and she ended up caring for her mother, Ruth, who suffered from mental illness. Steinem spent six years living with her mother in a rundown home in Toledo before leaving to go to college. At Smith College, she studied government, an non-traditional choice for a woman at that time. It was clear early on that she did not want to follow the most common life path for women in those days—marriage and motherhood. "In the 1950s, once you married you became what your husband was, so it seemed like the last choice you'd ever have…I'd already been the very small parent of a very big child—my mother. I didn't want to end up taking care of someone else," she later told People magazine.
After finishing her degree in 1956, Steinem received a fellowship to study in India. She first worked for Independent Research Service and then established a career for herself as a freelance writer. One of her most famous articles from the time was a 1963 expose on New York City's Playboy Club for Show magazine. Steinem went undercover for the piece, working as a waitress, or a scantily clad "bunny" as they called them, at the club. In the late 1960s, she helped create New York magazine, and wrote a column on politics for the publication. Steinem became more engaged in the women's movement after reporting on an abortion hearing given by the radical feminist group known as the Redstockings. She expressed her feminist views in such essays as "After Black Power, Women's Liberation."
In 1971 Steinem joined other prominent feminists, such as Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan, in forming the National Women's Political Caucus, which worked on behalf of women's issues. She also took the lead in launching the pioneering, feminist Ms magazine. It began as an insert in New York magazine in December 1971; its first independent issue appeared in January 1972. Under her direction, the magazine tackled important topics, including domestic violence. Ms. became the first national publication to feature the subject on its cover in 1976.
As her public profile continued to rise, Gloria Steinem faced criticism from some feminists, including the Redstockings, for her association with the CIA-backed Independent Research Service.
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Did you know that since 1912, nearly 50 million girls in the United States have joined the Girl Scouts? Girl Scouts helped an amazingly diverse array of famous women develop a strong foundation of courage, confidence and character. It's no surprise then that quite a few famous women spent time in the sash. Celebrities who got their start selling cookies and earning merit badges include Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter and actress/writer Carrie Fisher; former first ladies Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan; Olympic skaters Bonnie Blair and Peggy Fleming; astronaut Sally Ride; and iconic women's rights activist Gloria Steinem. Browse our collection of inspiring famous Girl Scouts who have certainly earned merit badges in their fields.
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