Women tend to be conservative in youth and get more radical as they get older because they lose power with age. So if a young woman is not a feminist, I say just wait. —Gloria Steinem, Time, April 5, 2004
Toledo native Gloria Steinem is one of the most influential feminists of our time. She began her career as a freelance journalist in New York. It was the early 1960’s and there were few women in the profession. “We don’t hire women,” she would hear repeatedly from editors. Though she wanted to cover social and political issues, the young Steinem was assigned mostly “puff pieces.” In 1963, Steinem wrote the famous exposé in which she worked undercover as a Playboy Bunny. These and other stories she covered made Steinem aware of the poor working conditions and low wages among women. By the end of the decade, she had become an outspoken leader on issues of equality.
In 1972, Steinem co-founded Ms. Magazine, and later established the Ms. Magazine Foundation, which promotes self-esteem among girls with initiatives like the “Take Your Daughter to Work Day.” In addition to her work as a journalist, Steinem is the author of several books, including the best-selling Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (1983) and Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem (1992). Intentionally single for most of her life, Steinem made headlines in 2000 when she married for the first time.