Doing Sixty and Seventy

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Gloria Steinem became a spokesperson for issues about aging quite accidentally after declaring to a reporter on the occasion of her fortieth birthday, “This is what forty looks like. We’ve been lying for so long, who would know?” Because of this casual comment about her age and about the collective societal pressure to lie about our age she received an avalanche of thanks and support from other women facing age discrimination. This caused her to realize the far reaching dimensions of age oppression.

In her inspiring essay, Doing Sixty and Seventy, Steinem shares her views on age stereotyping, the unexpected liberation that comes with growing older, and defines what she perceives as the fact that women become more radical as they age. The essay also sheds light on the forces that shaped her life and for readers who have only heard bits and pieces about her the essay offers a primer on her bold and logical theories.

In the essay, Steinem describes turning fifty as “leaving a much-loved and familiar country” and turning sixty “as arriving at the border of a new one” in which she looked forward to “trading moderation for excess, defiance for openness, and planning for the unknown.” In the Preface — written when Steinem is just past seventy and twelve years after the essay was first published — Steinem explains the development of her precious sense of mortality and time.

Elders Academy Press is proud to publish Ms. Steinem’s enlightening and thought-provoking essay — thus allowing it to appear for the first time as an independent volume.

About the Author

Gloria Steinem remains the United States’ most influential, eloquent and revered feminist more than three decades after founding Ms. magazine. A devoted activist and writer, Steinem continues, as she has for more than thirty-five years, to travel nationally and internationally and speak with a calm voice of reason and articulation about gender, racial, and other civil inequity issues