Editors Note: The New York Times ran a fantastic piece over the weekend celebrating Gloria Steinem. The author, Sarah Hepola, raises the question “Where is the next Gloria Steinem, and why — decades after the media spotlight first focused on her — has no one emerged to take her place?” She goes on to explain that in the 1970s, there were three networks and a handful of magazines. Today between blogs, cable TV and social media, a singular spokesperson is hard to identify.
IN 1970, when the Senate was first debating passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, a featured speaker was Gloria Steinem, a 36-year-old magazine writer with a growing reputation as a forceful advocate of women’s issues.
“During years of working for a living, I have experienced much of the legal and social discrimination reserved for women in this country,” Ms. Steinem told the almost exclusively male gathering. “I have been refused service in public restaurants, ordered out of public gathering places and turned away from apartment rentals. All for the clearly stated, sole reason that I am a woman.”
Over the last 40 years, Gloria Steinem has almost always been at the other end of the phone when some member of the news media has sought comment about a pressing issue involving women’s rights, whether it was Roe v. Wade (“If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”), the tax problems that all but doomed the chances of the first woman to run for vice president on a major ticket (“What has the women’s movement learned from Geraldine Ferraro’s candidacy for vice president? Never get married.”) and even the presidency of George W. Bush (“There has never been an administration that is more hostile to women’s equality, to reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right”).
And that raises a question well worth asking in 2012: Where is the next Gloria Steinem, and why — decades after the media spotlight first focused on her — has no one emerged to take her place?
Continue reading at NYTimes.com.
Enjoy the video profile on Gloria Steinem from Makers.com, below.