Gloria Steinem became one of the most recognizable spokespeople for the women's movement because of her quick wit and the genius of her observations. By reducing the seemingly complex problem of inequality to it's most basic components, she and the other front-line revolutionaries were able to affect enormous and lasting changes to American life. Interestingly enough, one of the most famous quotes attributed to her...
"A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."
... she didn't even say. Some of the things she has said are:
- America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people.
- Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.
- Someone 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 and incomplete answer. In fact, women's total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage.
- 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.
- 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.
- It really is a revolution. Sex and race because they are easy and visible differences have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labour in which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.
- We know that we can do what men can do, but we still don't know that men can do what women can do. That's absolutely crucial. We can't go on doing two jobs.
- Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one.
- What has the women's movement learned from [Geraldine Ferraro's] candidacy for vice president? Never get married.
- A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.
- Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.
- God may be in the details, but the goddess is in the questions. Once we begin to ask them, there's no turning back.
[Excerpted with gratitude from Jone Johnson Lewis "Your Guide To Women's History" http://womenshistory.about.com.]