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Gloria Steinem Tried to Fight Sexist Wage Gap, Was Gifted a Gucci Bag Instead

Photo: Bravo/Getty Images

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In an interview with Fusion, feminist icon Gloria Steinem recalls a time in the '70s when Time magazine paid her less because she was a woman and only made matters worse when the publication made a misguided attempt to rectify its sexist behavior. In order to even out the paycheck between her and other male writers, the publication sent Steinem a Gucci purse, presumably because it believed that all women prefer handbags over fair wages.

"When my agent got the check, he told me that I was getting paid less than men who wrote the same essay," she tells Fusion. "So, I wrote the editor of Time and complained and he sent me a Gucci purse. I took the purse back to Gucci because I needed the money and tried to get cash for it and I couldn't."

Ironically enough, Time commissioned Steinem to write a story about "the early women's movement," but apparently nothing she wrote sunk in with the staff. Steinem also points out that the publication only asked her to write it "because they didn't have a woman on staff," she says.

Here's Steinem on the magazine in 1992.


Photo: Time/Gregory Heisler