Gloria Steinem is 81 — a fact that the iconic women's movement leader describes as "quite bizarre."

"Eighty-one is an age that I think is someone else's age," Steinem tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I stop people on the street and tell them how old I am, because I'm trying to make myself believe it."

But Steinem isn't unhappy about aging. The co-founder of Ms. magazine says that as she approached 60, she felt like she entered a new phase in life, free of the "demands of gender" that she faced from adolescence onward.

Rhoda Baer / National Cancer Institute/Creative Commons

The American Cancer Society changed its recommendation for how often women should get mammograms. The new guidelines push back the recommended age for annual mammograms for most women from age 40 to 45. Some experts say the change is warranted and data-driven, while others say it'll lead to possible delays in detecting breast cancer. 

And Planned Parenthood is no stranger to headlines. Last month a heated exchange in Congress over de-funding the women’s health care agency, an effort that failed to pass the U.S. Senate. A highly edited sting video showed Planned Parenthood staff discussing fetal tissue donations as impetus for the de-funding efforts. Some argue that tax dollars shouldn’t be spent on an organization that so many find objectionable in nature. 

When you walk into a doctor’s office for the first time, you might be asked to fill out a slew of forms. Many include a box to check for your gender: male or female. But what if that’s not an easy—or a comfortable—question to answer? That’s just one example of what keeps many transgender patients from getting the medical care they need. 

Woodley Wonder Works / Creative Commons


We've been talking a lot over this last year about problems like misogyny and violence in football, rape on college campuses, mass shootings, and increasing rates of suicide and addiction. What we don't say is that men are the victims of these behaviors as much as women, albeit in different ways. 

We often look for explanations in mental health, failed policy, or lax laws. But men overwhelmingly engage in these behaviors. Why are we reluctant to discuss what society expects from men, and whether those expectations are realistic? 

Trinity College /

The president of Trinity College has decided to eliminate a mandate to make all fraternities co-ed.

1st Lt. Shaye Haver, 25, and Capt. Kristen Griest, 26, received their Ranger tabs Friday, becoming the first women ever to successfully complete the U.S. Army's Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga. — a grueling course that puts a premium on physical strength and endurance.

Haver, an Apache helicopter pilot, and Griest, a military police platoon leader, completed the course to the same standards as their 94 male classmates — a point emphasized by Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, the guest speaker at the graduation ceremony.

The first two women to graduate from the Army's elite and grueling 62-day Ranger School said Thursday they were motivated to prove naysayers wrong and also break open the hatch for future generations of women.

Capt. Kristen Griest, 26, a military police platoon leader, and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, 25, an Apache attack helicopter pilot, spoke for the first time since completing their training at Fort Benning, Ga., a day before they graduate and receive their Ranger tabs.

Pfc. Yvette / Creative Commons

One of two women slated to be the first ever to graduate from the U.S. Army's Ranger school is Kristen Griest, a 2007 graduate of Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge.

Updated 10:10 p.m. ET

On Friday, two female lieutenants will make history as the first women to graduate from the U.S. Army Ranger School, a grueling 62-day training program required for admittance into the elite Ranger Regiment.

The women are Kristen Griest and Shaye Haver, and here is what we know about their training and other things Ranger-related:

What does it mean to have a Ranger tab on one's uniform?

There's new evidence suggesting that women's brains are especially vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease and other problems with memory and thinking.

Women with mild cognitive impairment, which can lead to Alzheimer's, tend to decline faster than men, researchers reported this week at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Washington, D.C.

Lance Cpl. Paula Pineda relaxes at a picnic table not far from her barracks in Camp LeJeune, N.C. She's in a crisp uniform and has a ready smile. It's one of the few breaks she's had in months — and she can finally laugh about Carl.

"Carl — our special, heavy, unique dummy," she says.

It was back in March, in the heat of the Mojave Desert in California, that Pineda — sweaty and grimy and just 5-foot-2 — struggled to help pull Carl the dummy out of her armored vehicle, along with another Marine, Julia Carroll. It was part of an exercise to rescue an injured crewman.

ShellVacationsHospitality / Flickr Creative Commons

In the United States, men named John, James, Robert, and William hold more corporate board seats than women hold altogether. It’s a pretty striking reality, which begs the question: Why aren’t there more women in corporate America? 

Starmanseries / Flickr Creative Commons

In some ways, the 'bro' is not new. He's there, for example, in Philip Roth's "Goodbye Columbus" as Ron Patimkin, the big athletic empty-headed brother of Brenda. 

What's different is that in the 1960s, it seemed fundamentally untenable to be Ron for an extended period of time. Ron only really made sense as a college athlete, and now he's stuck with a bunch of mannerisms and interests that seem vaguely out of place.

CPBN Media Lab

Governor Dannel Malloy signed a law this week that will allow transgender individuals in Connecticut to change the sex listed on their birth certificates without undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

Phil Whitehouse / Creative Commons

For some readers, it's hard to imagine speculative fiction without female writers. After all, Margaret Cavendish and Mary Shelley practically created the genre. More recently there are authors like Octavia Butler and Ursula LeGuin. Not to mention J.K. Rowling - who you may have heard of if you've been alive in this century.

Creative Commons by Nate Grigg

This month, advocates for women's rights are marking the 50th anniversary of Griswold vs. Connecticut. In Connecticut, they gathered at the State Capitol to celebrate the legacy of the landmark court decision.

Steve and Sara / Creative Commons

Hartford's City Council has approved a municipal identification card program. The IDs will give undocumented immigrants and others better access to city services.

Brian Turner / Creative Commons

Connecticut's second-highest court has ruled that a transgender teenager's due process rights were violated when the state's child welfare agency sought her transfer to a prison last year.

Ian D. Keating / Creative Commons

Sarah Eagan, Connecticut's Child Advocate, said this legislative session accomplished a lot for children.

Updated at 1:49 p.m. ET

Bruce Jenner, the former Olympic gold-medal-winning decathlete who revealed recently that "for all intents and purposes" he is a woman, is now Caitlyn Jenner.

The revelation was made in Vanity Fair, which tweeted an image of Jenner on the cover of its July issue.

Dominick / Creative Commons

Rates of heavy drinking in Connecticut spiked 21.3 percent between 2005 and 2012, while binge drinking rates rose nearly 14 percent, with the largest increases among women drinkers, a new report shows.

ShellVacationsHospitality / Creative Commons

In the United States, men named John, James, Robert, and William hold more corporate board seats than women hold altogether. It’s a pretty striking reality, which begs the question: Why aren’t there more women in corporate America? 

Courtesy Norman Rockwell Museum Digital Collection

It would have been difficult for 19-year-old Mary Doyle Keefe to realize the incredible influence she would have on women when she sat to have her portrait painted by Norman Rockwell in the early 1940s.

Native American actors have walked off the set of an Adam Sandler movie that they say insults their culture.

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

Testimony concluded on Thursday in Middletown Superior Court where members of an all-male fraternity are challenging Wesleyan University's new policy requiring fraternities to become co-ed.

Sarah Thomas has officiated football games in the NCAA and for the NFL's preseason and training camps. For the 2015 NFL season, she'll reportedly be a full-time official.

The news was broken this morning by Baltimore Sun reporter Aaron Wilson, who called it "a ground-breaking move." Thomas, 42, is a Mississippi native who has been widely regarded as a contender for a regular NFL contract.

Andre Silva / Creative Commons

On the series "NewsRadio," the character played by Phil Hartman once said, "Experience once taught me that behind every toothy grin lies a second row of teeth."

Smiling is a universal way to show happiness. But not all smiles are happy. In reality, we smile less for happiness than for social reasons that have nothing to do with happiness. That said,  few things are more ingratiating and calming as another person's genuinely warm smile. But, maybe it's because a genuine smile is such a great thing that we're always looking for the false one. 

Gender equality is "humanity's biggest project," Lakshmi Puri told the United Nations this past week. Puri, the deputy executive director of U.N. Women, wants to achieve "Planet 50-50" by 2030.

When it comes to the workplace, equal employment opportunities aren't just a benefit to women. Several new studies point out that discriminatory practices that keep women out of the workforce are not only unjust, but economically nonsensical as well.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

For centuries, female composers have often found themselves overshadowed by their male counterparts. Take Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Anna Magdalena Bach, and Alma Mahler, for example. Their names don't roll off the tongue quite as easily as Felix Mendelssohn, J.S. Bach, and Gustav Mahler's do. 

But why?

White House

A new HBO series raises new questions about murder suspect Robert Durst. He was found not guilty of one murder but remains on law enforcement's radar for others. The HBO series "The Jinx" is not helping his case. We speak with a New York Times reporter about the latest on evidence presented against Durst on the show.

Also, there is a new push to replace Andrew Jackson with a woman on the face of the $20 bill. The executive director of "Women on 20s" joins us to discuss the process and some of the candidates to replace Jackson.

And finally, this weekend President Barack Obama delivered a speech in Selma, AL to mark the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday." We'll speak to a local professor who was there with her family.