The Best Gloria Steinem quotes

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In a society that largely defines women by their relationships to men, Gloria Steinem defied convention. She has been called everything from the most visible and influential feminist of our time to a media personality who epitomizes self-promotion. But Steinem’s accomplishments are vast and her quotes compilation is far more complex than any simple label could capture. Born in 1933, Steinem has spent over five decades advocating for women’s rights both in the United States and around the world. In this time she has written extensively on gender issues, founded myriad organizations devoted to advancing women’s equality, and become one of the most influential voices in contemporary feminism. This is her best quotes.

Discover the best Power, Change, Violence, Human Beings, Life, World, Children quotes from Gloria Steinem, and much more.


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About Gloria Steinem

birth of the author

March 25, 1934

education of the author

Smith College

occupation of the author

Writer And Journalist For Ms. And New York Magazines

movement of the author



In the late ’60s, people were saying we need power to, not power over. Power to do, accomplish, create, not power over other people. — Gloria Steinem

The kind of power I want is the power to persuade. But I do not want the power to tell other people what to do. — Gloria Steinem

It’s easier to blame the person with less power. — Gloria Steinem

Whoever has power takes over the noun–and the norm–while the less powerful get an adjective. — Gloria Steinem

it s easier to blame the person with less power Gloria Steinem quote

We’ll never solve the feminization of power until we solve the masculinity of wealth. — Gloria Steinem

I believe that art has incredible power. — Gloria Steinem

In order to make a choice, you need the power to see there is one. — Gloria Steinem

Frequently people just vote for the party out of power because they’re disappointed or angry at what is happening at the moment. — Gloria Steinem

The power of the state stops at our skins. They can’t restrict contraception [or] abortion. They can’t take our kidneys. Bodily integrity is a principle. — Gloria Steinem

we ll never solve the feminization of power until we solve the masculinity of wealth Gloria Steinem quote

Unequal access to money and media plus bias, external and internalized, and male–dominant religions and illegality at the polls–all those are reasons for women’s wildly unequal political power. — Gloria Steinem

How ever sugarcoated and ambiguous, every form of authoritarianism must start with a belief in some group’s greater right to power, whether that right is justified by sex, race, religion or all four. — Gloria Steinem

The point is less what we choose than that we have the power to make a choice. — Gloria Steinem

The question of whether one has one’s own political power or goes to work for someone else is not only a feminist question. — Gloria Steinem

Allowing women the power to decide when and whether to have children is the only way to solve the 7 billion human load on this planet that threatens to destroy it. Women’s equality is also men’s survival. — Gloria Steinem

i believe that art has incredible power Gloria Steinem quote

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

Men should think twice before making widow hood woman’s only path to power. — Gloria Steinem


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No one can give us power. If we aren’t part of the process of taking it, we won’t be strong enough to use it. — Gloria Steinem

What is Gloria Steinem known for?

Gloria Steinem is an American feminist, political activist, and journalist.

A leading feminist spokesperson since the mid-20th century, she helped launch a variety of groups and publications dedicated to promoting civil rights.



Life after 50 or 60 is itself another country, as different as adolescence is from childhood, or as adulthood is from adolescence–and just as adventurous. — Gloria Steinem

Each others’ lives are our best textbooks. — Gloria Steinem

each others lives are our best textbooks Gloria Steinem quote

I started out life as a writer, and writers write in part because they don’t want to talk. — Gloria Steinem

It is true for me, as for so many countless others, that librarians saved my life, my internal life. — Gloria Steinem

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

Most of us are living out the unlived lives of our mothers, because they were not able to become the unique people they were born to be. — Gloria Steinem

There are six million female lives lost in the world every year simply because they are female. — Gloria Steinem

feminism began to dawn on my brain belatedly in life Gloria Steinem quote

Feminism began to dawn on my brain belatedly in life. — Gloria Steinem

Karla Jay’s intimate account of life in the early years of feminism and gay liberation is as irresistible as a novel, but as credible, humorous, and unexpected as real life. — Gloria Steinem

A lot of my generation are living out the un–lived lives of our mothers. — Gloria Steinem

The same big TV antenna dwarfed each roof, as though life here could only be bearable if lived elsewhere in the imagination. — Gloria Steinem

It’s said that the biggest determinant of our lives is whether we see the world as welcoming or hostile. Each becomes a self–fulfilling prophecy.” — Gloria Steinem

a lot of my generation are living out the un lived lives of our mothers Gloria Steinem quote

It’s the biggest economic influence in a woman’s life whether she can decide when and whether to have children or not. — Gloria Steinem

She is a water bug on the surface of life. — Gloria Steinem

The art of life is not controlling what happens to us, but using what happens to us — Gloria Steinem

I didn’t go to school a full year until I was 11 or 12, so I lived in books. I really was an observer of life. — Gloria Steinem

People waste more time waiting for someone to take charge of their lives than they do in any other pursuit. — Gloria Steinem

she is a water bug on the surface of life Gloria Steinem quote

Too much of our lives corresponds to the ‘lost–wallet’ theory of life. You lose something, spend a long time finding it, and then feel grateful to be back where you started. — Gloria Steinem

Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life. — Gloria Steinem

I can’t tell the difference between my work life and my private life–it’s all the same to me. — Gloria Steinem

I would write about issues and people I met along the way, but not about the process and the life of being on the road. — Gloria Steinem

More and more men are raising children or want to be close to their kids. They don’t want to just lead work–obsessed lives and end up 50 years later with an engraved watch. — Gloria Steinem

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


The old languages–at least the ones I know–don’t have gender. They don’t have gendered pronouns. There’s no “he” and “she.” A human being is a human being. — Gloria Steinem

Show me something that is not transformed by the other half of the human race. — Gloria Steinem

Empathy is the most radical of human emotions. — Gloria Steinem

There’s more variation among human groups than between human groups. — Gloria Steinem

show me something that is not transformed by the other half of the human race Gloria Steinem quote

I believe a unique core self is born into every human being; the result of millennia of environment and heredity combined in an unpredictable way that could never happen before or again. — Gloria Steinem

In every century, there are a handful of writers who help the human race to evolve. Andrea is one of them. — Gloria Steinem

The human body is not obscene, sexuality is not obscene. But it [pornography] is not sex, it is violence. It encourages acceptance of the idea that violence is a legitimate part of sexuality. — Gloria Steinem

Human beings are communal beings and we can’t exist or prosper by ourselves. We need each other’s support. — Gloria Steinem

What we have been raised to think of as inevitable–division and hierarchy, monotheism and nation states–actually accounts for less than 10 percent of human history. — Gloria Steinem

empathy is the most radical of human emotions Gloria Steinem quote

The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights — Gloria Steinem

It’s hard to imagine any more physical symbol of the insanity of dividing human beings, to me, to walk across it has huge, huge, huge importance. — Gloria Steinem

What is the women’s liberation movement?

The women’s liberation movement, or women’s rights movement, was a social movement of the 1960s and ’70s.

It sought equal rights, opportunities, and greater personal freedom for women.


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

What we need to be able to do is count all human experience. So I would like to count the secretarial positions as good training places to take over the jobs of the bosses. — Gloria Steinem

We move away from only the binary boxes of “masculine” or “feminine” and begin to live along the full human continuum of identity and expression. — Gloria Steinem


Clinging to the past is the problem. Embracing change is the answer. — Gloria Steinem

Redundant Thematics

In Gloria Steinem Statements


There’s nothing automatic about political change, about liberation. — Gloria Steinem

Nothing changes the gender equation more significantly than women’s economic freedom. — Gloria Steinem

The first resistance to social change is to say it’s not necessary. — Gloria Steinem

Every revolution begins as consciousness because some group of people has to imagine change. — Gloria Steinem

clinging to the past is the problem embracing change is the answer Gloria Steinem quote

Of course, we can change. We’re very adaptable. But it takes a while. — Gloria Steinem

If the shoe doesn’t fit, must we change the foot? — Gloria Steinem

It is more rewarding to watch money change the world than watch it accumulate. — Gloria Steinem

Also, one of the simplest paths to deep change is for the less powerful to speak as much as they listen, and for the more powerful to listen as much as they speak. — Gloria Steinem

Nothing will happen automatically. Change depends on what you and I do every day. — Gloria Steinem

there s nothing automatic about political change about liberation Gloria Steinem quote

I believe that change comes from the bottom, not the top. — Gloria Steinem

I think that we need to change the culture, not blame the people that are playing the only game that exists. — Gloria Steinem

The electoral system is not where change starts–it usually starts in communities and from the bottom up–but it is where change can be stopped. — Gloria Steinem

Severe opposition is a measure of success (because) one inevitable result of winning a majority change in consciousness is a backlash from those forces whose power depended on the old one. — Gloria Steinem

Where did Gloria Steinem go to college?

Gloria Steinem attended Smith College, a liberal arts college for women in Northampton, Massachusetts. As an undergraduate, Steinem studied government.

The deepest change begins with men raising children as much as women do and women being equal actors in the world outside the home. — Gloria Steinem

nothing changes the gender equation more significantly than women s economic freedom Gloria Steinem quote
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Children are short people. Some you like, some you don’t. — Gloria Steinem

Our children are the only people on whom we can safely take revenge for what was done to us. — Gloria Steinem

In Sweden, both parents take care of the children. — Gloria Steinem

There is nothing more fundamental than the idea that the government does not have a right to decide when and whether we have children. — Gloria Steinem

It’s a fundamental human right to decide to have children or not to have children. — Gloria Steinem

children are short people some you like some you don t Gloria Steinem quote

It used to be said that this country was a child–centered one. Nothing could be further from the truth. Children have been our lowest priority, both in economic and emotional spending. — Gloria Steinem

Housewives are dependent creatures who are still children…parasites. — Gloria Steinem

What would happen if we listened to children as much as we talked to them? — Gloria Steinem

Most American children suffer too much mother and too little father. — Gloria Steinem

Sexuality has always been for humans a form of communication, a way we express love and caring and bonding, not only a way we have children if we choose to. — Gloria Steinem

in sweden both parents take care of the children Gloria Steinem quote

Sadomasochiasm–which we know very well doesn’t exist in societies that don’t have child abuse–is regarded some sort of natural sexual expression. — Gloria Steinem

By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God. — Gloria Steinem

I’d like to be played as a child by Natalie Wood. I’d have some romantic scenes as Audrey Hepburn and have gritty black–and–white scenes as Patricia Neal. — Gloria Steinem

Now, we’ve made the revolutionary discovery that children have two parents. A decade ago even the kindly Dr. Spock held mothers solely responsible for children. — Gloria Steinem

We will live to see the day that St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a child–care center and the pope is no longer a disgrace to the skirt that he has on. — Gloria Steinem

it s a fundamental human right to decide to have children or not to have children Gloria Steinem quote

You can’t do it all. No one can have two full–time jobs, have perfect children and cook three meals and be multi–orgasmic ’til dawn … Superwoman is the adversary of the women’s movement. — Gloria Steinem

How did Gloria Steinem get her start as a political activist?

After graduating from Smith College, Gloria Steinem spent two years in India on a Chester Bowles fellowship.

Her time abroad inspired an interest in grassroots activism.

In 1960 Steinem moved to New York, where she began to take a more active role in politics, expressing her opinions in columns and articles for various publications



I would say that reproductive freedom comes first, then violence and economics. — Gloria Steinem

One act of violence takes four generations to heal. — Gloria Steinem

No other form of violence is legitimate. It is never acceptable to use violence to solve a problem. Whether personal or political. — Gloria Steinem

If [George] Zimmerman had been arrested for domestic violence, Trayvon Martin might still be alive. — Gloria Steinem

i would say that reproductive freedom comes first then violence and economics Gloria Steinem quote

Violence is not inevitable. I mean, the only inevitable form of violence is the kind that we understand, the only legitimate (if there can ever be legitimate violence) and that’s self–defense. — Gloria Steinem

From pacifist to terrorist, each person condemns violence–and then adds one cherished case in which it may be justified. — Gloria Steinem

It was the first female–style revolution: no violence and we all went shopping. — Gloria Steinem

What would happen if even one generation were raised with respect and without violence? — Gloria Steinem


There are two types of people in the world, those who say ‘there are two types of people in the world’ and those who don’t. — Gloria Steinem

The problem with Superwoman is that she has to do it all, inside the home and outside the home. If there is a man there doing half of it, that’s a different world. — Gloria Steinem

There’s no greater gift than thinking that you had some impact on the world, for the better. — Gloria Steinem

In retrospect, perhaps the biggest reason my mother was cared for but not helped for twenty years was the simplest: Her functioning was not that necessary to the world. — Gloria Steinem

Feminism starts out being very simple, and it ends up being a world view that questions hierarchy altogether. — Gloria Steinem

I hope readers will consider, especially in this age of the World Wide Web, that as miraculous as it is, we still need to be in the same room with all five senses if we are to empathize with each other. — Gloria Steinem

Her searches after knowledge were arbitrary and without context. It was as if she were shining a small flashlight of curiosity into the dark room of the world. — Gloria Steinem

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