Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World - Ann Shen (2016)
Gloria Steinem (1934-) is a feminist writer and all-around firecracker whose career started in the sixties when she went undercover as a Bunny at the Playboy Club and penned the notorious exposé “A Bunny’s Tale” for Showmagazine. She then became a staff writer at New York magazine, where she published the article that made her a feminist leader, “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation.” Steinem’s career grew more focused when she covered an abortion hearing, and she joined forces with prominent figures like Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug to form the National Women’s Political Caucus. In 1971, Steinem pioneered Ms. magazine, a liberal feminist publication created, owned, and operated by women. Publishing at a time when women couldn’t even get a credit card without a man’s signature, it boldly covered previously verboten territory, printing the names of women who acknowledged having an abortion when they were illegal, and featuring a woman with a bruised face on the cover of an issue about domestic violence. Of course, with more prominence comes more criticism, and Steinem was critiqued for everything from being too glamorous to be a feminist to focusing too much on self-help instead of social activism in her 1992 book Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem. Famously quoted as saying that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, in 2000 she did the most surprising thing when she married environmental and animal rights activist David Bale. In recent decades she’s founded the Women’s Media Center and uses every birthday as a fundraising event, even stating that she expects her funeral to be a fundraiser. Steinem built a five-decade-long career on giving a voice to women’s issues, and she continues to pursue her passion for social justice in her own groundbreaking way.