Gloria: In Her Own Words
Gloria Steinem remains one of the most outspoken and visible symbols of the women’s movement today. Gloria: In Her Own Words blends interviews of Steinem in her Manhattan apartment, archival footage, photographs from throughout her life and clips from press interviews over the years. Among those interviewing Steinem in the film are Barbara Walters, Helen Gurley Brown, Phil Donahue and Larry King. The documentary also features archival footage of such prominent women’s movement figures as National Organization for Women (NOW) co-founder Betty Friedan, congresswoman Bella Abzug and civil rights advocate Flo Kennedy.
Steinem became the public face of the women’s rights movement, participating in marches, making media appearances and also weathering the inevitable backlash, feeling she had to work twice as hard to not be judged by her looks. Indeed, Steinem would become almost as well-known for her distinct style as for her political activism, remembering that her streaked blonde locks were inspired by the character Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her signature aviator glasses were about concealment, she reveals, saying, “The bigger they were, the more I felt I could hide behind them.”
Gloria Steinem remains one of the most outspoken and visible symbols of the women's movement today. Her public ambitions and victories are set against her personal challenges in this intimate portrait.
“There's been a lot of effort to demonize the word 'feminist.' I think that being a feminist means that you see the world whole instead of half. It shouldn't need a name. And one day it won't.”
- Gloria Steinem
This screening guide is a tool for classrom teachers and facilitators to incorporate excerpts of Gloria: In Her Own Words into many themes and topics of study, including the history of social movements; gender studies; the history of reproductive rights; self image; civil rights; and the media. The guide contains background information on key figures of the women's movement and some political context, as well as suggested pre- and post- viewing discussion questions and activities.