NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

Gloria Steinem




Gloria Steinem is 81 — a fact that the iconic women’s movement leader describes as “quite bizarre.” “Eighty-one is an age that I think is someone else’s age,” Steinem tells Fresh Air’s 9780679456209_custom-2f515d642efd2cd398bd367d589292f8838924b4-s700-c85Terry Gross. “I stop people on the street and tell them how old I am, because I’m trying to make myself believe it.” But Steinem isn’t unhappy about aging. The co-founder of Ms. magazine says that as she approached 60, she felt like she entered a new phase in life, free of the “demands of gender” that she faced from adolescence onward. “Remember when you were 9 or 10 and you were this independent little girl climbing trees and saying, ‘I know what I want, I know what I think’?” she says. “That was before gender descended for most of us.” “Ironically, I found by 60 you’re free again. So you’re the same person you were at 9 or 10, only now you have your own apartment, you can reach the light switch, you hopefully have a little money. So you can do what you want,” Steinem explains. For Steinem, doing what she wants means continuing to speak out about the political, social and economic barriers to women’s rights. She cites violence against women and the fight for reproductive rights as two of the most important issues facing women today. In her new memoir, My Life on the Road, Steinem looks back on her unconventional childhood, her decades-long career and her efforts to create a home for herself after spending much of her life on the road. MORE