Susan Faludi and Gloria Steinem

image for Susan Faludi and Gloria Steinem
Exhibition Label
When Time magazine ran this cover image of Susan Faludi standing behind a seated Gloria Steinem in March 1992, it was an apt pairing. To begin with, both were feminists. While Steinem, founder of Ms. magazine, belonged to the older generation of women's activists, Faludi, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal reporter, represented feminism's younger generation. They were also both authors of current best-sellers that offered two sides of the most recently minted feminist coin.
Faludi's book, Backlash, took as its thesis the view that in the 1980s forces had coalesced to hamper the progress in securing women's rights. Steinem's book, Revolution from Within, was more individually oriented, contending that enlarging life's possibilities hinged largely on self-understanding. Although many feminists felt betrayed by Steinem's message, she countered that "when one member of a group changes, the balance shifts for everyone," which in turn "shifts the balance of society."
Gregory Heisler, born 1954
Susan Faludi, born 1959
Gloria Steinem, born 1934
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Restrictions & Rights
© Gregory Heisler
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Susan Faludi: Female
Susan Faludi: Communications\Journalist
Susan Faludi: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Feminist
Gloria Steinem: Female
Gloria Steinem: Literature\Writer
Gloria Steinem: Communications\Journalist\Editor\Magazine
Gloria Steinem: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Feminist
Gloria Steinem: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Chromogenic print on paper
Image/Sheet: 35.6 × 27.9cm (14 × 11")
National Portrait Gallery