Updated: Sep 24
"The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving." - Gloria Steinem
By Adrienne Monestere
When an individual dedicates their life to the
equality of the oppressed, there are not enough awards or superlatives to express appreciation. Gloria Steinem, the glue that has held the Women's movement together for 50 years, is such a person of merit.
Considering the Supreme Court's Roe v Wade decision, a decision that scars a constitution that historically grants freedoms not removes them, women are looking to her again for guidance and hope. We need Gloria Steinem to pilot again, to reawaken our rage against subjugation while teaching us to use our anger for effective change. Gloria understands that previous political gain is no guarantee for the future. She understands we live in a changing world and knows backlash is always lurking, ready to slam doors once open. In an interview with the National Public Radio in 2021, Steinem said that "controlling reproduction has always been the first step in any hierarchical or authoritarian government." In an email to the Associated Press, Steinem said about the Supreme Court decision, "Obviously, without the right of women and men to make decisions about our own bodies, there is no democracy."
Feminism portrayed as a dirty word by its enemies, and feminists stereotyped as man-hating machines or lesbians, has been reduced to a movement of buzzwords in an ocean of stale axioms. Yet, we are reinvigorated because Gloria Steinem, at age 87, is still in our midst, speaking up and speaking out. Women have become complacent in superficial gains, not wanting to be accused of being a "feminist" or the more modern "Karen." Yet, Steinem has never wavered in her pride of being a feminist and her determination to make the dream of equality come true for women around the world and to keep women moving.
As we pay homage to Steinem and all the courageous leaders that have led women down the path to freedom, let us continue to fight the hard fights together by moving forward as one body, using the power established by their efforts.
Gloria Steinem is a writer, political activist, and feminist organizer. She is the founder of NewYork and Ms. magazines, and is the author of several books, including, The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off, and Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, published in the United States, and As If Women Matter, published in India. She co-founded the NationalWomen's Political Caucus, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Free to Be Foundation, and the Women's Media Center in the United States.
Steinem is one of the most prominent mothers of a movement still struggling to keep progressing forward as the markers for achievement are evaporating under fundamentalist philosophy. Gloria Steinem has spent her life breaking the silence for women, we can offer our gratitude to her by fighting on and fighting forward, together.