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Gloria Steinem’s Words of Wisdom on Fighting for Equality

Through her collection of quotes and anecdotes, Gloria Steinem reflects on her time as a social activist and inspires us to keep fighting.

Fight for Equality

In The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off! Gloria Steinem shares her words of wisdom on fighting for equality. I have compiled 5 useful tips that she enforces throughout the book. 

  1. Preserve Community

Steinem continually affirms the necessity in community, reminding us that empathy is everything and must be preserved within ourselves if we want to make changes. She stresses the importance of unity in a movement- strong community can build trust, and with trust, we can begin building a movement. 

“Every movement has come from people sharing their stories.”

“The source of every social justice movement is people sitting in circles saying the unsayable thing – and discovering it’s happened to other people, too. If you come together, you can change it.”

2. Your Freedom is Worth the Fight

Gloria emphasizes the need for women to embrace themselves as autonomous individuals that have their own purposes. Steinem suggests that her readers be courageous and take their lives into their own hands-she inspires hope within women to keep fighting for change.

“As long as females are valued only for our wombs, we will never be valued for our minds and hearts”

“The best thing about self-defense is knowing there is a self worth defending.”

“The voting booth is the one place on earth where the least powerful and the most powerful are equal.”

3. Acknowledge Reality

While igniting home within us, Steinem clearly recognizes the necessity of owning problems- we cannot create change if we are blind. She frames problems in very comprehensive ways, urging readers to be conscious of these problems every day. She affirms that sans recognition of these issues, life will simply continue in its path.

“Women are required to be strong, then are punished for our strength”

“There can be no true democracy with racism and without feminism.”

“In most societies, a woman is encouraged to give birth to another person more than she is encouraged to give birth to herself.”

4. Keep an Open Mind

Gloria Steinem reminds us to modify our outlook on life- in order to produce any change, we need to be willing to work with others, which requires adaptability and openness.

“If you have more power than others, remember to listen as much as you talk. If you have less power than others, remember to talk as much as you listen. This is instant democracy.”

“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn but to unlearn.”

“Dorothy Dinnerstein, a very wise philosopher, once said that a crucial purpose of birth families is to make sure we know, value, and even love people we don’t agree with. Learning to accept and even love difference, as she pointed out, is important for the future of the human race. There is great comfort in realizing that differences within a family have an important purpose.”

5. Press On!

By affirming that we are never alone in our fight, Steinem inspires readers to keep fighting despite enduring obstacles. She continually reminds us that this is our world and in order to truly have a place in it, we must fight with perseverance.

“Promise me that in the next twenty-four hours, you will commit one outrageous act in the cause of justice. It could be as simple as saying, ‘Pick it up yourself,’ or as radical as telling each other our salaries. And if you do, I promise you two things: First, the world will be better by the very next day. Second, you will have such a good time that you will never again wake up saying, ‘Will I do an outrageous act?’ Only, ‘Which outrageous act will I do today?”

Featured Image by Roya Anne Miller on Unsplash

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