Gloria: the Original Queen of the Neighbourhood

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Have you heard? One of the most iconic figures of the feminist movement, Gloria Steinem is coming to Australia next week for the first time since the 1980’s. Steinem (who recently turned 81!) gained international recognition as a feminist leader after the publication of her article After Black Power, Women’s Liberation in New York magazine in 1969. But her work did not stop there; she went on to campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment in 1970, founded feminist magazine Ms. in 1972, wrote many influential book and essays, and has continued to advocate for women’s rights throughout her life.

Time and again, Gloria proves that there is no one way to be a feminist, or a woman. With her unique, effortless style and her commitment to social justice, Steinem demonstrates the importance of self-expression and individuality, as well as the need to work as a collective in order to create change. SO MUCH YES. With that in mind, we’ve put together our 10 fave Gloria quotes along with some of her most memorable style-icon moments. Enjoy!

1. “There is the notion that an attractive woman, whatever that means […]can’t be smart. We are still identified by our looks instead of our hearts or heads. That’s why it’s much better to break the rules.”

A uniformed officer arrests feminist Gloria Steinem during an anti-apartheid protest outside the South African Embassy in Washington, Dec. 19, 1984. Image from

2. “A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”

Gloria Steinem at work in her apartment with a copy of Ms. magazine, New York City 1985. Photo by Harry Benson for his book New York New York. Image from

3. “The trouble with the word mentor is it seems like a one-way street. I think partnerships between younger and older women with different levels of experience in the same field are important, but they work best if they’re balanced, so that the older more experienced person understands that they’re also learning from the younger ones.”

Maya Angelou and Gloria Steinem on their way to the march in Washington on August 27 1983 (the 20th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech). Image from

4. The “most admired human accomplishments have come from cooperation, not competition…competition produces one winner who is then immediately worried about losing the next time. What allows people to become productive is the faith of a group of other people who believe in them.”

Original image of Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughs taken by Dan Wynn in 1971, with recreation taken in 2014 by Dan Bagan. Image from

Original photo of Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughs taken by Dan Wynn in 1971, with recreation taken in 2014 by Dan Bagan. Image from

5. “We need to affirmatively choose to hang out with people who have faith in us, who encourage our dreams and our talents.”

Gloria Steinem accompanies Pat Schroeder to a fundraising luncheon for her Co. campaign in 1974. Photo By Duane Howell/The Denver Post via Getty Images

6. “Fashion is what other people want you to look like and what the designers put out there, what the color is for the year. Style is your own personal unique expression.”

Gloria Steinem in 1965. Image from

7. “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”

Gloria Steinem with her cat in 1970. Photo from The Guardian

8. “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”

Gloria Steinem in 1985. Image from

9. “With advancing age, I’ve had people saying to me, ‘Who are you passing the torch to?’ And I knew it made me mad, but I didn’t quite know what to say. And so finally I figured out that, wait a minute, I’m not giving up my torch…I’m using my torch to light the torches of other people.”

Gloria Steinem, Photo by Inez and Vinoodh for The New Yorker in 2015, image from

10. “I’ve seen enough change to know that more will come.”

Gloria Steinem in 1965. Image from

Maddy Crehan

Maddy regularly writes for Rosie, and is passionate about music, history, art and gender equality.

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