advertisement

Face of women’s movement doesn’t like to stress looks

Sunday, February 13, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:33 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

Gloria Steinem, whose spoken and written words have influenced history for decades, knows that how she looks has played a part in her success.

But she doesn’t like it.

“Looks are a double-edged sword: It gets you noticed first but also keeps you from being taken seriously,” Steinem said Friday.

“I personally find it very painful because you come to feel that no matter how hard you work and what you do, your accomplishments will be attributed to something that has nothing to do with your work,” she said.

An activist and writer, Steinem was in Columbia last week to accept a 2004 Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism.

She was honored for her work and leadership with women and other groups.

In an interview the day after the awards ceremony, Steinem — who was dubbed “a fox” in a recent USA Today profile — talked about how people link appearance and ability.

“It’s terribly important to know what we can do for our hearts and our heads, not just our surface,” she said.

Steinem, who is credited with being the face of the women’s rights movement for the late 20th century, said she views her achievements equally, whether large or small.

When pressed, though, she said growing up in the 1950s — and surviving it — is her best accomplishment.

“There was so little idea of social justice, no women’s movement and a small civil rights movement,” she said. “It was so dead and conservative.”

Now that she is 70, Steinem said it’s important to her to give more time to writing.

“Seventy is an age I associate with mortality, and I began to face that I don’t have much time left,” she said. “I started thinking about how much time I have left to write.”


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements