62 of the Most Empowering Gloria Steinem Quotes

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In Toledo, Ohio a feminist, leader, spokeswoman of women’s rights, and journalist was born 1934. This woman is Gloria Steinem. Steinem took care of her mother, that suffered from a mental illness, starting at around the age of ten because her parents had gotten a divorce in 1944. Gloria’s sister began caring for their mother after she had graduated from high school, allowing Gloria to further her studies by attending Smith College in Massachusetts, studying government.

She then spent two years researching and studying in India because of her earning the Chester Bowles Fellowship in 1956. While in India, Gloria Steinem developed an interest in grassroots activism, which inspired her later work in the Equal Rights Amendment and the women’s liberation movement.

Her career began in New York where she began writing for multiple publications as a freelance writer. Her journalist writings revolved around fashion pieces and other female centered topics. Gloria Steinem came in the public view in 1963 when she went undercover at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Club to report on the working conditions. In 1968 Gloria became a political writer and editor because she helped found New York Magazine.

After she helped found New York Magazine, she then began public speaking, especially in 1969 where she spoke publicly in New York at an event to legalize abortion. This event was life-changing for her and she set her sights on women’s rights and feminism.

Gloria Steinhem Quotes

  1. “The art of life is not controlling what happens to us, but using what happens to us” – Gloria Steinem
  2. “At my age, in this still hierarchical time, people often ask me if I’m “passing the torch.” I explain that I’m keeping my torch, thank you very much-and I’m using it to light the torches of others.” – Gloria Steinem
  3. “So whatever you want to do, just do it…Making a damn fool of yourself is absolutely essential.” – Gloria Steinem, Tufts University commencement speech, May 1987
  4. “I do not like to write, I like to have written.” – Gloria Steinem
  5. “Once we give up searching for approval we often find it easier to earn respect.” – Gloria Steinem
  6. “Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.” – Gloria Steinem
  7. “Imagining anything is the first step toward creating it. Believing in a true self is what allows a true self to be born.” – Gloria Steinem
  8. “I never quite trust futurists because I think they’re kind of telling us what they think our future should be.” – Gloria Steinem
  9. ‪”Don’t think about making women fit the world‬—‪think about making the world fit women.”‬ – Gloria Steinem, Roundtable discussion of gender relations at Yale University, February 2010
  10. “Sometimes I think the only real division into two is between people who divide everything into two and those who don’t.” – Gloria Steinem
  11. “Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke . . . She will need her sisterhood.” – Gloria Steinem
  12. “If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot?” – Gloria Steinem
  13. “When pain has been intertwined with love and closeness, it’s very difficult to believe that love and closeness can be experienced without pain.” – Gloria Steinem
  14. “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem
  15. ‪”Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one.” – Gloria Steinem, Steinem’s Ms. piece ‘In Praise of Women’s Bodies,’ April 1982
  16. “A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space.” – Gloria Steinem
  17. “A liberated woman is one who has s*x before marriage and a job after.” – Gloria Steinem
  18. “God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there’s no turning back.” – Gloria Steinem
  19. “The purpose of feminism is to free the uniqueness of the individual and to understand that inside each of us is a unique human being who is a combination of heredity and environment.” – Gloria Steinem
  20. “I guess 35 years ago, I thought we had more of a democracy than we actually do. Majority support doesn’t help unless the majority is active and votes – but the opposition minority votes a much greater proportion, so we often lose by a narrow margin.” – Gloria Steinem
  21. “Revolutions that last don’t happen from the top down. They happen from the bottom up.” – Gloria Steinem, Interview magazine, July 2011
  22. “So whatever you want to do, just do it…Making a d*mn fool of yourself is absolutely essential.” – Gloria Steinem
  23. “A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.” – Gloria Steinem
  24. “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving.” – Gloria Steinem
  25. “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem
  26. “Law and justice are not always the same. When they aren’t, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it.” – Gloria Steinem
  27. “When the past dies, there is mourning, but when the future dies our imaginations are compelled to carry it on.” – Gloria Steinem
  28. “We are becoming the men we wanted to marry.” – Gloria Steinem
  29. “You should write about take no-sh*t women like me. Girls need to know they can break the rules” -Gloria Steinem, My Life on the Road
  30. “A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.” – Gloria Steinem
  31. “We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.” – Gloria Steinem
  32. “I think we all have the power to name ourselves. I try to call people what it is they wish to be called. But we can take the sting out of epithets and bad words by using them.” – Gloria Steinem
  33. ‪”I began to understand that self-esteem isn’t everything; it’s just that there’s nothing without it.” – Gloria Steinem, Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, January 1993
  34. “Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” – Gloria Steinem
  35. “Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.” – Gloria Steinem
  36. “Most women are one man away from welfare.” – Gloria Steinem
  37. “At my age, in this still hierarchical time, people often ask me if I’m “passing the torch.” I explain that I’m keeping my torch, thank you very much-and I’m using it to light the torches of others.” – Gloria Steinem
  38. “The art of life is not controlling what happens to us, but using what happens to us” – Gloria Steinem
  39. “When unique voices are united in a common cause, they make history.” – Gloria Steinem, CNN Films’ Girl Rising documentary, June 2013
  40. “Empathy is the most radical of human emotions.” – Gloria Steinem
  41. “One day an army of gray-haired women may quietly take over the Earth!” – Gloria Steinem
  42. “The first resistance to social change is to say it’s not necessary.” – Gloria Steinem
  43. “Intelligence without character is a dangerous thing.” – Gloria Steinem
  44. “I want to say to you that there is life and dreams and surprises after 30 and 40, and 50, and 60, and 77! Believe me, life is one long surprise.” – Gloria Steinem
  45. “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving.”‬ – Gloria Steinhem, Gloria Steinem’s website
  46. “I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.” – Gloria Steinem
  47. “Women are always saying,’We can do anything that men can do.’ But Men should be saying,’We can do anything that women can do.’” – Gloria Steinem
  48. “Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before.” – Gloria Steinem
  49. “Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.” – Gloria Steinem
  50. “There were never that many women stand-up comics in the past because the power to make people laugh is also a power that gets people upset.” – Gloria Steinem
  51. ‪”Men should think twice before making widowhood women’s only path to power.”‬ – Gloria Steinem, The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off! October 2019
  52. “We are the women our parents warned us against, and we are proud.” – Gloria Steinem
  53. “When humans are ranked instead of linked, everyone loses.” – Gloria Steinem, My Life on the Road
  54. “It’s an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems don’t try to make it posthumous.” – Gloria Steinem
  55. “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” – Gloria Steinem
  56. “I have always employed humor, and I think it’s absolutely crucial that we do because, among other things, humor is the only free emotion.” – Gloria Steinem
  57. ‪”Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.”‬ – Gloria Steinem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, January 1983
  58. “The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn but to unlearn.” – Gloria Steinem
  59. “America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people.” – Gloria Steinem
  60. “Every social justice movement that I know of has come out of people sitting in small groups, telling their life stories, and discovering that other people have shared similar experiences.” – Gloria Steinem
  61. “You are the leader you’ve been waiting for.” – Gloria Steinem
  62. “Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem

See also: Mary Wollstonecraft Quotes

Gloria Steinem Video

In this recent clip from Real Time with Bill Maher, Bill Maher and his guests – Gloria Steinem, Erin Brocovich, Alex Wagner, Armstrong Williams and PJ O’Rourke – answer viewer questions after the show. Definitely worth a watch to see and hear from Gloria Steinem.

Summary

As a feminist activist, Gloria Steinhem is an inspiration to women and even men everywhere. She strives to stand up for what she believes is right and has dedicated her life to leading marches, and acting on behalf of gender equal rights. These quotes might be motivational, inspiring, and overall show a strong woman’s voice. Use these quotes of Gloria Steinhem’s in your own activist activities, or even in your writings.

Image Credit: Jay Godwin, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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