Everyone has had a role model, for lack of a better term, or someone we’ve long admired. If not right now, at one point in our lives when we were impressionable there is someone we truly admired for one or for many reasons. Maybe because they had an experience that we envisioned for our lives or ourselves, or perhaps because they created change and trailblazed in a way that seemed impossible before they came along.
Gloria was and still is that person for me. Her knowledge of women’s empowerment, the patriarchy, and society in its entirety is immaculate and impressive. There is something I learn from her everytime I search for her, and she always is there when I’m on a women’s empowerment quest. Whether she’s writing forwards in influential books or popping up in interviews or podcasts, she’s always saying something intelligent and meaningful. She has experienced so much and remains positive, uplifting and a powerful spirit of change and political recourse.
Growing Up Gloria
Gloria was born in 1934 in Toledo, Ohio. She had a mother and father and was an only child. She spent much of her young life taking care of her mother, who suffered from numerous health conditions. Her father was a salesman and loved hitting the open road, sending the family on long trips through American diners and highways. She often felt sad for her mother especially when she learned that her mother had given up her dreams of becoming a journalist to pursue a more domesticated life with Gloria’s father. Steinem has often wanted to tell her mother that she wished she had continued her dreams on her own accord. As Gloria got older, she always remembered this feeling and decided to seize opportunities when they came and to fight for a life where a woman didn’t have to choose between a career or domesticity.
Gloria became heavily inspired by the women from India, where she spent two years working and doing research. She then gained more attention when she did an article on the poor working conditions and treatment of Playboy Bunnies at Gentlemen’s Clubs. She went undercover and experienced first hand the inequality and upright sexist treatment by the other workers, the owners, and the customers. She exposed so much in a short amount of time, and not long after she created Ms. Magazine, a magazine for women that doesn’t feature sexist advertising and has actual stories written by women and for women, educating them and providing them with information that doesn’t involve which oven or lipstick to purchase.
Still Rocking It
Many women contributed to the women’s movement, and it wasn’t just one person who created this immaculate amount of growth and change throughout the decades of our lives. But, Gloria, now 84, has not given up the fight – not even for a second. A few years ago she published her highly anticipated memoir like work, called My Life On The Road. She spends her life traveling, just like her father, and is still heavily involved with the women’s movement, doing speeches at universities and colleges several times a month, and providing the world with the continued ongoing conversation surrounding oppression, the patriarchy and taking back the power.
She believed in a world where women could be there own people and dedicated her life to making that statement true. Her written works on self-esteem and loving yourself has inspired several women to take control of their lives. She worked tirelessly with other women and men to create social change and make differences in million’s of people’s lives.
Thank you, Gloria, for everything you did and continue to do.