Gloria Steinem: Long Distance Runner for Women’s Rights

When Gloria Steinem first joined the feminist movement, her male colleagues at New York Magazine pulled her aside and told her not to get involved with those “crazy women.” Steinem says of this experience: “I thought- they don’t know who I am, and it’s not their fault because I haven’t told them.” She concluded she’d never get to write what she needed to write about the situation of women in America and the change that needed to happen within the confines of the male dominated publishing world.

So she left New York Magazine to start her own magazine. Ms. Magazine became a voice for women across America. Their 1972 issue on domestic violence was the first to feature the topic on its cover, bringing attention to an issue that had kept so many women hiding in private.

Steinem joined the ranks of all those so called “crazy women” to become a prominent leader in the feminist movement alongside Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug. Beautiful, eloquent, and media savvy, she was the Trojan Horse the movement needed. She remains a vital activist to this day in the fight for global equality for women and girls.

Gloria Steinem heard her calling, knew her purpose, and stepped bravely into the leadership role she holds to this day. Had she stuck with New York Magazine in fear of tarnishing her reputation in the established publishing world, she may have never joined the feminist movement and never discovered what became her life’s work and passion.

“We need to be long-distance runners to make a real social revolution. And you can’t be a long-distance runner unless you have some inner strength,”- said Gloria to People Magazine after the publication of her 1992 book Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem.

A long distance runner indeed, Steinem is to this day a leading figure in the global fight for gender equality. In one of her boldest moves yet, she recently announced that she would be joined forces with global peace activists and the women of North and South Korea to walk the 2 mile demilitarized zone from North to South in a call “for an end to the Korean War and for a new beginning for a reunified Korea.” The march is to take place on International Women’s Day for Disarmament, May 24th.

We are pleased to announce that our partners at The Rutgers Institute for Women’s Leadership have launched a campaign to create the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies.

Enrollment for our Fall 2015 Rutgers Executive Leadership Program for Women, launching Sept. 16th, is now open. In it’s 16th year, with a 36% rate advancement into more senior roles among graduates, our glass ceiling initiative is changing the playing field for women. To learn more and to apply for our Fall session, contact us at

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