Happy 80th Birthday, Gloria Steinem!

Happy 80th Birthday, Gloria Steinem!

Gloria Steinem is turning 80 this Tuesday, March 25. Best known for her feminist activism — as a journalist, author, publisher. I like to think that Steinem helped paved the way for the work that we all do, telling our own personal stories as bloggers. Back in the 1950s and 60s, when “women’s writing” was often limited only to traditional homemaking and society stories, Steinem showed that women’s stories could include work like her expose of the Playboy Club or her reporting on contraception or abortion.

In the 1970s, Steinem co-founded Ms. Magazine and the National Women’s Political Caucus and continued to use her prominence to lobby for women’s rights.

Gloria Steinem at news conference, Women's Action Alliance, January 12, 1972, Image Credit: Warren K. Leffler [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

But perhaps what’s most inspiring about Steinem is how she hasn’t slowed down over the years. In 2004, she worked with Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan to found the Women’s Media Center, a non-profit that monitors the how women are represented and how many women are working in the media.
Last year, President Obama awarded Steinem with a Presidential Media of Honor.

Nov. 20, 2013 - Washington, District of Columbia, U.S. - 11/20/13 The White House- Washington DC...President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to feminist Gloria Steinem. Image Credit: Christy Bowe/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com

Here are some great reflections on Steinem’s life :

This Is What 80 Looks Like by Gail Collins at The New York Times

Happy 80th, Gloria Steinem by Kathleen McCartney on CNN

The debt all women—even conservatives—owe Gloria Steinem by Robin Abcarian at The Los Angeles Times

Some suggestions from the Women’s Media Center on how you can celebrate Gloria’s 80th birthday

  • Tell your own story
  • Help another person tell hers
  • Write or speak a shared reality that’s invisible
  • Critique or commend what’s already in the media 
  • Organize to educate local journalists 
  • Tweet comments on television/internet news 
  • YouTube a positive action for change 
  • Reward responsive journalists with story ideas and news breaks!
  • Check out The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014 (Hint: there’s still much work to be done)

    Has Gloria Steinem influenced your life? Tell us about it in the comments!

    News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.

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