Posted by: patriciamar | May 27, 2016

Steinem: “My Life on the Road”


A couple of weeks ago I finished Gloria Steinem’s latest book, “My Life on the Road.” Originally, I downloaded this audio book because I have a hard time riding my bike (down a long road, that is) for longer than 20 minutes without something to occupy my mind. Audio books are an amazing answer to that.  I’d also heard a fair amount about the book from the Emma Watson UN reading group on Goodreads (“Our Shared Shelf“)

Although I was wary of what it would be like, I really, really enjoyed this book.  There are so many stories that describe Steinem’s many activist efforts–large and small–towards an end to sexism, racism, and so many from the very first trips Steinem took-in childhood driving across the U.S. with her family and then alone in India, Texas, Tennessee, everywhere. The breadth and variety of stories she tells is unbelievable.  I was looking up names (Ella Bell, Flo Kennedy, Wilma Mankiller, etc.) and organizations (the NWPC, Emily’s List,  and so many more)….

“Laughter is an orgasm of the mind.”

She describes the roads of racism, sexism, homophobia, religious discrimination, and gives a really  interesting explanation of how the fission between the political parties and, even political candidates of the same party, occurred over time.

“Voting isn’t the most we can do, but it is the least.”

I was sad when it ended.  Coming from someone who almost never finishes library-borrowed audio books in the allotted 21 days, that means something.  By the last section, What Once Was Can Be Again, I wasn’t only listening to it while biking.  I listened while doing dishes, while walking to the grocery store, and while making savory scones late at night, one of my newest odd habits.

This book was like a short brief history of all those who need more rights and deserve more respect.  I recommend it, particularly if you are generally new to Steinem.  Although whether you come jaded or not, I think this book has something for you.


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