Democratic Socialists of America congratulates honorary chair Gloria Steinem, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom November 20, 2013.
A writer and activist, Steinem has a long history of raising issues and building institutions to advance a broad feminist vision. In 1971, she and a diverse group of other women cofounded the National Women’s Political Caucus, which sought to bring more women into decision-making positions to promote reproductive rights and political and social equality for women. The breadth of her vision can be seen in this quotation (from her Wikipedia entry): “This is no simple reform. It really is a revolution. Sex and race because they are easy and visible differences have been the primary ways of organizing human beings into superior and inferior groups and into the cheap labor on which this system still depends. We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned. We are really talking about humanism.” In 1972, she co-founded Ms. magazine, and in 1974, the Coalition of Labor Union Women.
She has continued to criticize war, injustice, and inequality in its multiple manifestations. In so doing, she joins other socialist winners of the Medal of Freedom, including Helen Keller, Carl Sandburg, James Farmer, Sidney Hook, Millie Jeffries, Evelyn Dubrow, David Dubinsky, Honorary DSA Chair Dolores Huerta and Bayard Rustin.