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Gloria Steinem’s Impassioned Feminist Speech to 4A’s

A renowned American journalist and activist, Gloria Steinem is perhaps one of the most recognized and respected figures of the feminist movement. Over the course of Steinem’s career, her words have enlightened and liberated the masses.

The founder and editor of Ms. magazine, Steinem gave a powerful speech at the 1973 4A’s Annual Meeting. Titled “What Do Women Expect“, she fervently and factually described the modern plight of women, minorities and society as a whole. Citing historical reasons for why patriarchy exists in contemporary times, she explained realities about women in the workplace as well as truths and misconceptions of advertising.

These words were even more notable because of their context: Steinem was speaking to an industry dominated by men. Towards the beginning of her talk, she asked all female ad executives in the audience to raise their hands. Two did. Despite such an obvious deficit, she blatantly recognized that society’s initial reaction to taking a feminist stance was to trivialize it. Still, Steinem called upon people of all races and genders to join the fight for equality with her closing line, “[…] without a doubt, revolutionary feminism is the only path to humanism.”