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  • Kathy Shimpock

Gloria Steinem (1934 - ) - This is what 80 looks like!

During these days of uncertainty, many women seek strong, positive, wise, and vital examples of aging.  Fortunately, such role models exist. These women embody the character of the wise old woman archetype. Their lives provide inspiration and guidance for the darkest of days. Gloria Steinem is one of these women. There are many more; we only have to open our eyes to see them.

Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer.  At 80 years young, she still travels throughout the world as an organizer and lecturer and is a media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice. Steinem was a columnist for New York magazine, and a co-founder of Ms. magazine.

In 2006, Steinem wrote Doing Sixty & Seventy which focuses on the issue of age in gender oppression. She argues that despite the ageism they confront, women become more radical as they age.  “Fifty was a shock,” Steinem writes, “because it was the end of the center period of life. 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?” But, she added, “80 is about mortality, not aging. Or not just aging.”


  1. What issues of social justice still call to your heart?

  2. How have your thoughts changed over time?

  3. What surprises you most about aging?

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