Gloria Steinem was born in 1934. She grew up during the years when women had a very narrowly defined role. Women were expected to work inside the home, become expert housekeepers, and leave making important decisions to their husbands like the mom on the old Leave It to Beaver TV show.
Gloria herself had to take on adult responsibilities early in her life. She had to care for her mother who was ill and find her own way to attend college and get on in the world.
She finished her studies and began her career in 1956. Gloria became a writer and had articles published in various magazines. She soon became interested in the topic of securing equal rights for women. In 1969, she published her first feminist article, "After Black Power, Women's Liberation."
In 1972, Gloria and a group of other women with similar interests began their own magazine. They named it Ms. magazine. Ms. is a title that the feminists liked to use for themselves, just as men use the title Mr. They preferred the title Ms. to Mrs. or Miss, which indicated whether a woman was single or married.
At that time, the feminist movement was not popular. Feminists were told to go home and take care of their homes. They were mocked as being too masculine. One news anchorman had this to say about the new Ms. magazine: "I'll give it six months before it runs out of things to say."