S T I L W E L L, Okla., Sept. 6, 2000 -- Gloria Steinem, the feminist icon whoonce dismissed marriage as an institution that destroysrelationships, is a first-time bride at the age of 66.
Steinem, the co-founder of Ms. magazine, married SouthAfrican-born entrepreneur David Bale, 61, in rural Oklahoma onSunday.
“Though I’ve worked many years to make marriage more equal, Inever expected to take advantage of it myself,” Steinem said in arelease issued by Voters for Choice, a political action committeeshe helped create.
“I’m happy, surprised and one day will write about it, but fornow, I hope this proves what feminists have always said — thatfeminism is about the ability to choose what’s right at each timeof our lives.”
Ceremony at Sunrise
The small ceremony attended by close family and friends tookplace in the Adair County home of Wilma Mankiller, former chief ofthe Cherokee Nation and Steinem’s friend, said Nicole Vandenberg, aVoters for Choice board member.
It was conducted at sunrise by an Oklahoma judge and CharlieSoap, a Cherokee spiritual person and Mankiller’s husband.
During the ceremony, the word “partners” was substituted for“husband and wife.”
Steinem and Bale, the father of Shaft and AmericanPsycho actor Christian Bale, met in October 1999 at a Voters forChoice benefit in Los Angeles, Vandenberg said. Bale is a longtimesupporter of the group.
An anti-apartheid activist at an early age, Bale has livedmostly in England, the release said. There, he worked as a pilotand among other projects helped import the first skateboards to thecountry. Bale moved to Los Angeles in 1990.
Steinem, who grew up in Toledo, Ohio, authored books includingOutrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions and Revolution fromWithin.
The couple plans to divide their time between New York, whereSteinem is a consulting editor to Ms. magazine, and Bales’ work andhome in Los Angeles, the release said.
But don’t look for Steinem to trade her Ms. for a Mrs. She’llkeep her name, Vandenberg said.