120+ Best Gloria Steinem Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Gloria Marie Steinem is an American feminist, journalist, and social political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader and a spokeswoman for the American feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Profoundly inspirational Gloria Steinem quotes will encourage growth in life, make you wiser and broaden your perspective.

If you’re searching for activism quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of quotes by Fred Hampton, best Frederick Douglass quotes and greatest Howard Thurman quotes.

Famous Gloria Steinem Quotes

We are still in various kinds of patriarchal systems. The very definition of patriarchy is that men control women as the means of reproduction, so the idea that a woman’s main role is to have children often means society wants more workers, more soldiers. The idea that how many children we have should be controlled by the family, the church, the nation – by anyone but women themselves – is still very deep and very strong. – Gloria Steinem

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

Prejudice marks a mental landmine. – Gloria Steinem

If you add up all the forms of genocide, from female infanticide and genital mutilation to so-called honor crimes, sex trafficking, and domestic abuse, everything, we lose about 6 million humans every year just because they were born female. That’s a holocaust every year. – Gloria Steinem

Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before. – Gloria Steinem

It’s endlessly interesting to be organizing and hearing possible solutions or thinking of possible solutions and how to put efforts together. It makes everything else boring, actually. – Gloria Steinem

There is no such thing as Superwoman. You can’t have everything if you do everything. – Gloria Steinem

It’s hard to measure success when we’re dealing with between 500 and 5,000 years of patriarchy depending on which continent we sit, so I would say feminism has been successful and we have a huge distance to go, huge. – 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

Whatever the gender of the participants, all pornography including male-male gay pornography is an imitation of the male-female, conqueror-victim paradigm, and almost all of it actually portrays or implies enslaved women and master. – Gloria Steinem

Overthrowing capitalism is too small for us. We must overthrow the whole patriarch! – Gloria Steinem

I believe that transgender people, including those who have transitioned, are living out real, authentic lives. Those lives should be celebrated, not questioned. Their health care decisions should be theirs and theirs alone to make. – Gloria Steinem

At my age, in this still hierarchical time, people often ask me if I’m passing the torch. I explain that I’m keeping my torch, thank you very much-and I’m using it to light the torches of others. – Gloria Steinem

The first problem for all of us, men and woman, is not to learn, but to unlearn. We are filled with the popular wisdom of several centuries just past, and we are terrified to give it up. Patriotism means obedience, age means wisdom, woman means submission, black means inferior: these are preconceptions imbedded so deeply in our thinking that we honestly may not know that they are there. – Gloria Steinem

The dogma is that that dogma is a mistake. – Gloria Steinem

Women fear endangering men’s approval so much, we don’t even wait for them to say no. Or else we protect them, even if it means saying no to ourselves. – Gloria Steinem

When unique voices are united in a common cause, they make history. – Gloria Steinem

There are many more women who identify as unique people as well as mothers, or instead of as mothers, than there used to be and, hopefully, there are more men who identify as fathers. – Gloria Steinem

Law and justice are not always the same. When they aren’t, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it. – Gloria Steinem

Battered women is a phrase that uncovered major, long-hidden violence. It helps us to face the fact that, statistically speaking, the most dangerous place for a woman is in her own home, not in the streets. – Gloria Steinem

Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person. – 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

It would help not to treat age as if it were any less of a pleasure than it was when we were six and saying, ‘I’m six and a half.’ You know, we could be saying, ‘I’m fifty and a half’ and say it with joy. Each age is different and has different discoveries and pleasures. – Gloria Steinem

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

One day an army of gray-haired women may quietly take over the Earth! – Gloria Steinem

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

No wonder male religious leaders so often say that humans were born in sin—because we were born to female creatures. Only by obeying the rules of the patriarchy can we be reborn through men. No wonder priests and ministers in skirts sprinkle imitation birth fluid over our heads, give us new names, and promise rebirth into everlasting life. – Gloria Steinem

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

The family is the basic cell of government: it is where we are trained to believe that we are human beings or that we are chattel, it is where we are trained to see the sex and race divisions and become callous to injustice even if it is done to ourselves, to accept as biological a full system of authoritarian government. – Gloria Steinem

The new women in politics seem to be saying that we already know how to lose, thank you very much. Now we want to learn how to win. – 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

Someone once asked me why women don’t gamble as much as men do and I gave the commonsensical reply that we don’t have as much money. That was a true but incomplete answer. In fact, women’s total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage. – Gloria Steinem

Most women’s magazines simply try to mold women into bigger and better consumers. – Gloria Steinem

The origins of violence against women by men are not biological. If that were the case, it would exist in every culture. And it doesn’t exist in every culture. – Gloria Steinem

I always trust the microcosm over the macrocosm. – Gloria Steinem

Change starts at the bottom. I think we’re disempowered by the idea that it starts at the top, when really change is like a tree. It does start at the bottom. – Gloria Steinem

Helping begins with listening. – Gloria Steinem

But somewhere within each of us, buried at varying depths depending on the age and degree of neglect or abuse, shame or coercion we endured, there is a resistant, daydreaming, rebellious, creative, unique child — a true self who is waiting. – Gloria Steinem

Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That’s their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood. – Gloria Steinem

More women are becoming the men they wanted to marry, but too few men are becoming the women they wanted to marry. That leaves most women with two jobs, one outside the home and one in it. – Gloria Steinem

Patriarchy requires violence or the subliminal threat of violence in order to maintain itself. The most dangerous situation for a woman is not an unknown man in the street, or even the enemy in wartime, but a husband or lover in the isolation of their home. – Gloria Steinem

Nature doesn’t move in a straight line, and as part of nature, neither do we. – 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

If you can learn to like how you look, and not the way you think you look, it can set you free. – Gloria Steinem

You are the leader you’ve been waiting for. – Gloria Steinem

My father was the Jewish half of the family, yet it was my mother who taught me to have pride in that tradition. – Gloria Steinem

anything being perceived as being superior takes the noun. And everything that isn’t, that’s judged to be inferior, requires an adjective. So, there are black novelists and novelists. There are women physicians and physicians. Male nurses and nurses. – Gloria Steinem

I have me brave women who are exploring the outer edge of human possibility, with no history to guide them, and with a courage to make themselves vulnerable that I find moving beyond words. – Gloria Steinem

learning must travel the distance from head to heart. – Gloria Steinem

A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men. – Gloria Steinem

If women could sleep their way to the top, there’d be a lot more women at the top. – Gloria Steinem

We’re communal animals. If we’re by ourselves, we can feel wrong and crazy and out of step with society. We really need those talking circles. – Gloria Steinem

I think we spend a lot of time denying our mothers. We understand other women earlier than we understand our mothers because we’re trying so hard to say, I’m not going to be like my mother that we blame her for her condition. If we didn’t blame her for her condition, we would have to admit that it could happen to us, too. I spent a long time doing that, thinking that my mother’s problems were uniquely her fault. – Gloria Steinem

We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs. – Gloria Steinem

The cleanup costs of polluting a river, injecting pesticides into the ground water, or putting noxious gases into the air have not been figured into the cost of the manufacturing or agribusiness that put them there in the first place. Historically, the economic incentive has been to pollute. – Gloria Steinem

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

Why are women raped far away (say, Bosnia) called victims, while those raped nearby (say, a local campus) are playing victim politics? – Gloria Steinem

A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. – Gloria Steinem

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

No one ever got radicalized by being grateful. – Gloria Steinem

I never quite trust futurists because I think they’re kind of telling us what they think our future should be. – Gloria Steinem

I want us to organize, to tell the personal stories that create empathy, which is the most revolutionary emotion. – Gloria Steinem

The problem is that America is still so racist – I guess it’s hard to find another word for it ­ – that they still, the press in general and many people, perceive only white women as feminists. They think black women are black. – Gloria Steinem

Probably those three things affect the most people: reproductive freedom, freedom from violence, and democratic families. But there may well be someone sitting at this table who has a great idea to do something else that wouldn’t come under those umbrellas and that would really be great and make all kinds of change. – Gloria Steinem

Writers are notorious for using any reason to keep from working: over-researching, retyping, going to meetings, waxing the floors – anything. – Gloria Steinem

The uncomfortable truth seems to be that the amount of talk by women has been measured less against the amount of men’s talk than against the expectation of female silence. – Gloria Steinem

You’re afraid to be close to women. Because it’s not masculine to be close to women. The last time you were close to a woman, you were a child. – Gloria Steinem

imagining anything is the first step toward creating it. Believing in a true self is what allows a true self to be born. – Gloria Steinem

I no longer believe the conservative message that children are naturally selfish and destructive creatures who need civilizing by hierarchies or painful controls. On the contrary, I believe that hierarchy and painful controls create destructive people. And I no longer believe the liberal message that children are blank slates on which society can write anything. On the contrary, 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

Women’s total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage. – Gloria Steinem

The young women seem to think that they can only go out with or marry a man who is superior to them. The problem there is that they are wanting to be defeated, as opposed to finding a partner. – Gloria Steinem

The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving. – Gloria Steinem

I think I’ve wasted some of my time, but used most of it well, and have realized that my life is not separate from other people’s lives or from the universe. I think our moments of happiness really come from a feeling of unity. – Gloria Steinem

A good friendship is a conversation that never ends. – Gloria Steinem

Don’t worry about your background, whether it’s odd or ordinary, use it, build on it. – Gloria Steinem

It’s a big gift to be recognizable as part of something that matters to people, but that’s not the same as being responsible for something. – 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

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. – Gloria Steinem

Proust’s tea cake has nothing on one hour in a college dorm. – Gloria Steinem

Housewives are dependent creatures who are still children parasites. – Gloria Steinem

Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself. – Gloria Steinem

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

I don’t know if fury can compete with necessity as the mother of invention, but I recommend it. – Gloria Steinem

When I’m talking to people, I find myself quoting the three organizing rules of Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter was initiated by three young women, and too few people know that. But, anyway, the first one is lead with love. The second is low ego, high impact. The third is move with the speed of trust. I must say those make me feel very hopeful for the future. – Gloria Steinem

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

Whenever one person stands up and says, wait a minute, this is wrong, it helps other people do the same. – Gloria Steinem

At my graduation, I thought we had to marry what we wished to become. Now you are becoming the men you once would have wished to marry. – Gloria Steinem

The original languages didn’t even have he and she. They didn’t have concepts of masculine and feminine. People were people. And the whole idea was that we were in a circle together, not in a hierarchy together. – Gloria Steinem

There are many ways of supporting gender equality, from something as simple as paid sick leave and flexible work hours to attributing an economic value to all caregiving and making that amount tax deductible. – Gloria Steinem

We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons, but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters. – Gloria Steinem

Whatever you want to do, do it now. – Gloria Steinem

This idea of doing it all is the enemy of equality, not the path to do it.It’s impossible to do two full-time jobs, and an impossible definition of success is just another way of making women feel like failures… Any definition of success has to include social policies that honor families and men who raise babies as much as women do. – Gloria Steinem

The art of being helpful is behaving as if everything we do matters – because we never know which things might. – Gloria Steinem

you never know which thing you do is going to turn out to be important. I’m sure we’ve all done very small things that had very great impact and very big things that didn’t make any difference. So, create the means that best reflect the ends we want. Try to make each moment authentic, and you’ll get to an authentic end. – Gloria Steinem

There’s a wonderful cartoon of Reagan in a Western hat and he’s saying, A pregnant woman in every home, a gun in every holster. Make America a man again. That sums up his attitudes: pro-military, anti-equality, pro-rich, anti-poor. – Gloria Steinem

I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career. – Gloria Steinem

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

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

I do not like to write – I like to have written. – Gloria Steinem

There is always one true inner voice. Trust it. – Gloria Steinem

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

All biographers, no matter how sympathetic, end up using their subjects as mirrors to figure themselves out. I don’t want to be anyone’s mirror. – Gloria Steinem

A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space. – Gloria Steinem

If women are supposed to be less rational and more emotional at the beginning of our menstrual cycle when the female hormone is at its lowest level, then why isn’t it logical to say that, in those few days, women behave the most like the way men behave all month long? – Gloria Steinem

Men have to ask, ‘How can I combine career and family?’ – Gloria Steinem

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

Intelligence without character is a dangerous thing. – Gloria Steinem

It’s an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems don’t try to make it posthumous. – Gloria Steinem

Labeling makes the invisible visible, but it’s limiting. Categories are the enemy of connecting. Link don’t rank. – Gloria Steinem

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

A movement is only composed of people moving. To feel its warmth and motion around us is the end as well as the means. – Gloria Steinem

Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else. – Gloria Steinem

Anyone who has ever experienced dehumanized life on welfare, or any other confidence-shaking dependency knows that a paid job may be preferable to the dole, even when the handout is coming from a family member. – Gloria Steinem

To me, the model of success is not linear. Success is completing the full circle of yourself. – Gloria Steinem

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

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

Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry. – Gloria Steinem

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

To punish the individual for the sins of the system makes no sense. We’re responsible for changing it, yes. But we can’t actually invent another universe, so we have to start where we are. – Gloria Steinem

The father who raises a son to have a profession he once dreamed of, and the mother who uses her daughter as the adult companion her husband is not; the parents who urge their children into accomplishments as status symbols-all these and many more are ways of subordinating a child’s authentic self to a parent s needs. – Gloria Steinem

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.