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Gloria Steinem - Term Paper Example

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Her writings and speeches have impacted the way women’s issues are perceived and understood in the last half a century or so. Alongside Betty Friedan, Bella Abzug and…
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Gloria Steinem
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Download file to see previous pages Her grandmother Pauline Steinem was a revered suffragette in her day. But in the early years of Gloria’s life, there was little evidence to suggest that she would uphold her grandmother’s legacy. Since her father had to relocate to new cities very frequently, the young Gloria Steinem could not be enrolled in a regular school. All her early education was provided by her mom at home. This delicate family equilibrium came to an abrupt end, when Gloria was only 8 years old her parents broke off their marriage. Not only was young Gloria deprived of a father figure, she was also thrust into a life of grinding poverty in the next few years. Complicating an already dire situation was her mother’s propensity to suffer mental depression. In the years following the divorce, Steinem’s mother fell into such an abysmal depression that the mother-daughter roles reversed for once and Gloria was left to take care of her ailing mother. When in her late teens, she went to live with her elder sister in Washington, D.C., where she enrolled for Smith College. Just as she was about to complete her degree, she got a break which were to prove very significant. In 1956, in the year of her graduation, she got selected for a two year scholarship program in India ((Sondra, 1987).
The two years Steinem spent in India during her formative years were to prove profound for her understanding of women’s issues. The experience broadened and deepened her grasp of the status of women in the Third World and how socio-political realities impose severe restrictions for freedom of women. She realized that “the high standard of living most Americans take for granted was not available to all. She commented at the time that ‘America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people’. She returned strongly motivated to fight social injustice and embarked on her career as a journalist”. (www.gale.cengage.com)
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