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The Tight Squeeze Issue

Gloria Steinem on the Secret to Never Burning Out During the Fight for Equality

"If we don't have poetry and laughter along the way, we won't have it at the end."

by Zing Tsjeng
07 March 2018, 8:16pm

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

Gloria Steinem has been a tireless champion of women's rights for the past 50 years—her work as a feminist leader and activist has only grown since her days as a co-founder of Ms. magazine. She is one of the century's greatest agents of social change, though it's perhaps more accurate to describe her as an enduring force of nature. In January, Steinem was a co-chair of the Women's March on Washington, which turned into a global protest for women's rights that was millions of people strong. She's also the host and an executive producer for WOMAN, a VICELAND series that documents the ways that women around the world are shaping our future. We caught up with her shortly after the march to reflect on President Trump and her continued fight against injustice.

VICE: Your writing has always gone alongside your activism. How do they play off each other?
Gloria Steinem: I was a writer first. It was the urgency of what I was writing about that made me an activist; I couldn't just write about it. My commitment as a journalist is to make sure that facts are accurate, and it's clear what my experience or opinion is. If I do that, then I've done my job.

You've talked about the power of actually listening to people and breaking bread with them. Do you think the US is more divided as a country?
I think courtesy of the internet and greater travel, we're probably listening to one another more than we've had in the past. In very short order, the US will no longer be a majority-white country. People who were born into a system that told them there was a racial hierarchy and they had a superior place in it have been very upset by Obama's presidency, the changing population, immigration, and are responding in a backlash against all those things.

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