In the 1970s, alongside Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug and Shirley Chisholm, she founded the National Women’s Political Caucus, which brought women’s issues at the forefront of political debates. Given her left-liberal political views, it was only natural that she participated in National Democratic Party Conventions. Among the demands she made on behalf of women delegates in the party were equitable sharing of seats and inclusion of abortion in the party agenda. This period of activism resulted in greater participation of women in national politics as well as bringing focus to women’s issues. The next phase in her illustrious career came when she founded the Ms. Magazine – a first of its kind publication solely directed at a women readership and dedicated to presenting news, views and opinions from their perspective. In contrast to the fashion and lifestyle magazines of the time, Ms. Magazine was unique in that it discussed social, economic, political, religious and cultural issues. Further,
”in the seventies, she also helped organize the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Women’s Action Alliance and the Coalition of Labor Union Women. She also established MS Foundation for Women, an organization dedicated to helping underprivileged women. In addition to her advocacy work, Steinem has also written five books, and has been a contributor to many publications. She has tirelessly helped raise funds for many different women’s organizations and causes.” (Gilbert & Gaylen, 1981)
Steinem had aged very gracefully. In the last two decades, she has spent less time in direct social activism and spent more time in compiling highly rated scholarship. Her writing first got recognition with her 1983 book ‘Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions’. The following decade, she spent countless hours painstakingly years researching and writing, the culmination of which is the book Revolution From Within: A Book of Self Esteem for a women readership. In an interview, she explained that the book is an attempt to provide “…a portable friend…it’s self-help and inspiration, with examples of what some people have done and a glimpse of the extraordinary potential of the unexplored powers of the brain and how much our ideas of reality become reality”. (Gilbert & Gaylen, 1981) Following its publication in 1992, Steinem followed up with Moving Beyond Words in 1994, which is a collection of essay on topics such as culture, society, media, advertising, etc.
Her list of achievements is a long and impressive one. Smith College, which is her alma mater, honored her by offering her a position in the board of trustees. She is a member of the Beyond Racism Initiative, which undertakes systematic and scientific studies of racial relations in the United States of America, Brazil and South Africa. Steinem also has a documentary film to her credit – a child abuse film that she co-produced for HBO. Other awards and recognitions include “the Penney-Missouri Journalism Award, the Front Page and Clarion awards, National Magazine awards, an Emmy Citation for excellence in television writing, the Women’s Sports Journalism Award, the Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of Writers Award from the United Nations” (Marcello, 2004). In the last decade or so, in her seventies, she was awarded the “first Doctorate of Human Justice awarded by Simmons College, the Bill of Rights Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the National Gay Rights Advocates Award, the Liberty award of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Ceres Medal from the United Nations, and a number of honorary degrees” (Marcello, 2004). The above list is only a sample, as the awards and honors conferred on Gloria Steinem are innumerable. On a personal note, the time spent researching and writing this term paper has acquainted me with one of the leading torch bearers of American feminist movement in the person of Gloria Steinem. This course is enriched as a consequence of this experience.
Patricia Cronin Marcello , Gloria Steinem: A Biography, Published by Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004, ISBN 0313325766, 9780313325762, 173 pages
Gilbert, Lynn, and Gaylen Moore, Particular Passions, New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1981.
Women’s History, retrieved from http://www.gale.cengage.com/free_resources/whm/bio/steinem_g.htm on 22nd March, 2009.
Henry, Sondra, and Emily Taitz, One Woman’s Power, Minneapolis, Minnesota: Dillon Press, 1987.