Yesterday marked a momentous occasion for women as Gloria Steinem, activist, journalist and grand dame of the feminist movement, was awarded the highest civilian honor possible, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. At almost 80 years young, Steinem still shines the light she’s shone since becoming a leader and media spokesperson for the women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s and 1970s and co-founding Ms. magazine, among many other accomplishments.
President Obama praised Steinem for advocating for “lasting political and social change in America and abroad” and for “inspiring us all to take up the cause of reaching for a more just tomorrow.”
In her acceptance speech she added, “I’d be crazy if I didn’t understand that this was a medal for the entire women’s movement.”
We’d be crazy if we didn’t want to hug Gloria Steinem and keep a mini-sized version of her on our shoulder like a fairy feminist godmother.
Steinem was one of 16 recipients of the Medal of Freedom a group which also included Oprah Winfrey and former President Bill Clinton and media powerhouse Oprah Winfrey. The medal is “presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the U.S., to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Watch some of the ceremony here: