Mention the name Gloria Steinem to many women under 30, and if there is a flash of recognition at all, they put her in Florence Nightingale’s league—an admirable figure from the history books. To them, feminism was a war won before they were born, the miniskirted 1970s revolution that freed their mothers and grandmothers from drudgery and discrimination, paving the way for their own generation’s unfettered freedom.
But in the living room of the funky Upper East Side duplex where she has lived for more than 35 years, Steinem, 77, is still on the front lines of a fight she considers barely half finished. Every day, the news pours in—from the Middle East, Africa, India, and Washington, D.C.—jamming her inbox and filling up her speaking schedule. The media haven’t paid her much attention in the past 15 years (so many Kardashians, so little time), but the woman who has been the enduring face of feminism for nearly half a century insists her hands are as full as ever.
“Obviously we’ve come...