MAKERS Profile

Gloria Steinem

Feminist Activist

In this video

Gloria Steinem on her evolution from journalist to activist, launching Ms. Magazine, and proof of the women's movement's success.

Groundbreaking writer, lecturer, editor and activist, Gloria Steinem has been looked to as the popular face of the women's movement for over four decades. She was a buzzed-about journalist in the late-60s, when her political conscience compelled her to join the growing feminist movement, and made her one of its most visible and effective leaders.

She co-founded Ms. Magazine in 1972, and has spent decades crisscrossing the United States and the world as a speaker and organizer. She has been a controversial, good-humored, and inescapable public conscience on issues of equality and social justice. She has expanded the women’s movement to celebrate non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organization across socioeconomic boundaries.

Steinem probes and lays bare the workings of gender roles, of sex and race caste systems, and of child abuse as roots of violence. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Smith College and an Inductee of the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Gloria Steinem is a 2005 Founder of the Women’s Media Center.

In 2013, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.   Steinem is the author of, "Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem" and "Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions." Her most recent novel, "My Life on the Road," is slated to hit bookshelves October 2015.

More From Gloria

The Times' 15-Year Refusal
The 15-year struggle to get The New York Times to start using the honorific "Ms."

The Ideal Structure
What can the international women's movement learn from Alcoholics Anonymous?

How Far We've Come
What gives Steinem confidence for the future?

Human Trafficking
Steinem calls attention to the shocking fact that today's human trafficking dwarfs the slave trade of the 1800s.

Porn v. Erotica
The difference between pornography and erotica is one Steinem believes we must finally grasp.

Pro-life Backlash
Steinem talks about how the reproductive rights won by the women's movement now face powerful foes.

Geraldine Ferraro's First
Steinem describes the impact of Geraldine Ferraro's candidacy and expanding the talent pool.

Culture v. Politics
On the dangers of seeing the issues facing women as "merely cultural."

The Birth of Ms. Magazine
Steinem talks about how Ms. magazine came to be and its unexpected, runaway success.

Tapping Discontent
Steinem speaks about transitioning from a journalist to a leader of an exploding women's movement.

"A Lesbian?"
Steinem jokes about the stereotype that all feminists are lesbians. 

The Contagion of Rights Movements
Steinem discusses how the women's movement was born out of the Civil Rights Movement.