A Journalist that Advocates for Women
What makes Gloria Steinem an inspiration?
By: Rubyclare Moore
Gloria Steinem is a fairly well-known name, with plenty of adaptations about her life, such as television shows like Ms. America and The Glorias. However, I hope that I can tell you just a little bit more about Steinem and why I admire her so dearly. Growing up I knew the name “Gloria Steinem” however, it wasn’t until eighth grade that I really knew her. I was in English class and we were doing research on women throughout time for Women’s History Month; we picked names out of a hat and I got Steinem. I found out about her advocation for women, her journalistic engagements, and her work with the Feminist Movement in the 1960s and 1970s. I grew to love Steinem and have worked hard to advocate for people the way that she has.
Who is Gloria Steinem?
Steinem speaking at a Feminist Movement in the 1960s Steinem worked her way to the top of the Feminist Movement by actively writing about and speaking on the injustice women face in the world. Some of her most notable accomplishments was her article on the treatment of the Playboy Bunny’s, helping set up New York Magazine, the creation of Ms. Magazine and much more. Steinem did not start in the Feminist Movement but after finding her voice as a political journalist she was able to focus her time on helping women gain the same rights as their male counterparts. Steinem has lived a very productive life as a journalist being greatly awarded for her journalistic abilities as well as her activism, carrying on the profession for the majority of her life.
Sharing her Voice in a Man’s World
Steinem speaking at the Women’s March in 2017 One of the pieces that stands out in Steinem’s early journalist career is the article “A Bunny’s Tale” where she exposed the Playboy clubs around the city. She worked to expose the sexist, disgusting undertones of what seemed to be a desirable boys club. Steinem went undercover as a “bunny” in a club and took notes on all the harsh conditions the women working in the establishment faced. Though this piece helped expose the horrid ways that women were treated, the journalist industry was male-dominated, and did not help Steinem’s career in the way she had hoped.
Eventually, however, she helped start “New York Magazine”, where she was able to learn about the political world finding her niche, thriving as both a political journalist and an activist. Steinem wrote pieces on politics but sought after more social issues, such as the Feminist Movement. One of the pieces she wrote in 1969 called “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation”, spoke on the issue of how women are seen by society, as well as trying to prove that a Women’s Movement would be good for everyone.
Standing Up for her Beliefs
After working to make a name for herself in the journalism world, Steinem used her journalistic power to help advocate for the Feminist Movement. In addition to the creation of New York Magazine, Steinem also helped create Ms. Magazine in 1972. The magazine was a comment on the fact that other women-directed magazines only talked about taking care of family and the home. While Ms. Magazine published well-thought-out pieces that would be informational for its viewers. However, the magazine has been criticized for its lack of diverse feminism. Steinem has not stopped her activism and has even worked to correct her mistake in not amplifying diverse voices enough. She spoke out in an interview about how important women of color are to feminist activism, mentioning how they’ve received little recognition for their work throughout the movement.
Standing up for people is a big deal to me, Steinem and I share this point of view. Even today at the age of 87, Steinem is fighting for Women’s Rights. She constantly posts on Twitter activist advice and points of view on issues that face women. In September 2021, Texas passed the “Heartbeat Bill” which, in its simplest terms, means that any person looking to get an abortion would need to do so before the six-week mark of pregnancy or it is illegal. On a personal note, I found this bill is outrageously insensitive and a disgusting way for the government to control women’s bodies. Steinem, though she doesn’t live in Texas, has gone to social media to argue how outrageous it is as well. The way that she has kept up an appearance in the world as someone who will fight for Women’s Rights to the very end is an amazing quality that I respect wholeheartedly.
About the author: Rubyclare Moore is a student at the University of North Texas double majoring in public relations Journalism and Sociology. She has a love for helping others which will help her in Law School, studying Social Justice law, so that she may work for a nonprofit in the future.
Foussianes, C. (2020, April 25). The True Story of Ms. Magazine and What it Meant for Feminist Publishing. Retrieved from Town and Country Magazine: https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/a32131889/gloria-steinem-ms-magazine-true-story/
Karbo, K. (2019, March 25). How Gloria Steinem Became the "World's Most Famous Feminist". Retrieved from National Geographic: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/how-gloria-steinem-became-worlds-most-famous-feminist
McCammon, S. (2021, September 1). What the Texas Abortion Ban does-and what it means for other states. Retrieved from NPR: https://www.npr.org/2021/09/01/1033202132/texas-abortion-ban-what-happens-next
Michal's, D. (2017). Gloria Steinem. Retrieved from Women's History: https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/gloria-steinem
Steinem, G. (1963). A Bunny's Tale: Show's First Exposé for Intelligent People. The Magazine of the Arts, 90-95.
Steinem, G. (2008 originally 1969, May originally April 7 originally 4). After Black Power, Women's Liberation. Retrieved from New York Magazine: https://nymag.com/news/politics/46802/
Steinem, G. (2021, September 4). https://twitter.com/GloriaSteinem/status/1434161088086614018. New York City, New York, The United States of America.
Vinopal, C. (2020, August 18). Gloria Steinem on the Role of Women of Color in the Suffrage Movement. Retrieved from PBS: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/gloria-steinem-on-the-role-of-women-of-color-in-the-suffrage-movement