"It wasn’t until the late sixties, early seventies, that real feminist statements began to be made. It wasn’t just some women who were in trouble, but all women. Radical feminists began to talk about patriarchy and about sexual caste and women as a group. That set off all kinds of recognition in my head, as in millions of other women’s heads, because I think many of us, especially those of us who were in the civil rights movement and the old left, had identified with all other “out” groups, all other powerless groups, without understanding why we felt such a strong sense of identification. Women were not “serious” enough to be an out group ourselves. I think that this understanding is what has made this last decade so mind-blowing and exciting and angering, because we have realized we are living in a sexual caste system and it’s unjust, as is the racial caste system. We’ve begun to question and challenge and discard all of those arguments that say biology is destiny and that we were meant to be supportive, secondary creatures. So if you can generalize, which is awfully hard to do, I guess this decade has been about consciousness-raising and building a majority movement and getting majority support for the kind of basic issues of justice for women, whether it’s reproductive freedom or equal pay or equal parenthood."
— Gloria Steinem, in Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped our Times, by Lynn Gilbert.