Milestone

80 Glorious Years of Gloria Steinem (Photos)

For over fifty years, feminist icon Gloria Steinem has been proving that anything men can do, women can do better.

Marianne Barcellona/Time Life Pictures/Getty

AP

"Women are always saying, 'We can do anything that men can do,'" Gloria Steinem once said. "But Men should be saying, 'We can do anything that women can do.'" Over forty years ago, Steinem changed—and challenged—the way women were both viewed and treated in a male-dominated society. On March 25, the woman who once proudly told a reporter "This is what 40 looks like," turns 80, and again, isn't afraid to admit it. "Fifty was a shock, because it was the end of the center period of life," she recently told The New York Times. "But once I got over that, 60 was great. Seventy was great. And I loved, I seriously loved aging. I found myself thinking things like: 'I don't want anything I don't have.' How great is that?" Regardless of her age, Steinem has been arguably one of the most recognizable names associated with the women's movement since her emergence on the feminism scene in the late sixties. Her exposé revealing the inside workings of New York City's Playboy Club put Steinem on the map as a respectable freelance journalist, leading her to help found New York magazine, where she served as a political columnist, as well as Ms. magazine, a feminist glossy that touched on controversial subjects including domestic violence and abortion. It was Steinem's looks and glamorous persona that truly made her a revolutionary—she proved it was possible to maintain feminist ideals while still retaining some variety of sex appeal to the opposite sex. Today, her advocacy for the likes of reproductive freedom, gay marriage, and of course, feminism, are as strong as ever. "Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman," she said. "It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.”   

John Olson/Time Life Pictures/Getty

Gloria Steinem speaks at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

Marianne Barcellona/Time Life Pictures/Getty

The journalist/author relaxes in a bubble bath at home.

Scott Applewhite/AP

Steinem attends an Equal Rights Amendment rally on July 4, 1981 in Washington, D.C.

Ron Galella/WireImage

Steinem poses alongside Geraldine Ferraro and Cyndi Lauper on February 4, 1985.

Yvonne Hemsey/Getty

Astronaut Sally Ride celebrates Steinem's 50th birthday on May 23, 1984 at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC.

Keith Bedford/Reuter

Steinem protests against the opening of the De Beers jewelry store in New York on June 22, 2005.

Brad Barket/Getty

Gloria Steinem speaks at 'Eve Ensler and Friends Honor American Values' on July 4, 2005 outside of Macy's Herald Square.

Larry Downing/Reuters

President Barack Obama presents Steinem with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 20, 2013.