Steinem, Gloria "My Life on the Road" - 2015
How can I start my year with one of my favourite books? What can get better in 2016? The story of a lady whom I knew vaguely by name. It probably is a name that every American knows, at least every American feminist but to me it was just one of many.
I chose this book because it was introduced into the Emma Watson Book Club. I thought it might be a good idea to read the books suggested there since I do admire Emma Watson for what she has done and that she takes a point and stands her ground for what she believes in. Quite refreshing for someone that young.
Gloria Steinem is a new hero for me. What she did at a time when most women could only dream of having a good husband and leading a quiet life, the things she fought for, brilliant. I am myself someone who probably would have achieved more had I been born a boy. Not everyone of us is born with a fighting mind like Gloria.
This book is full of wisdom, full of sentences I could quote for ages but this one really sounded so true to me, it could be a description of my life.
"Anybody who is experiencing something is more expert in it than the experts." This goes for any part in any life, not just for feminism, I had to think about the constant migraines I get and the sometimes very stupid recommendations I have to listen to like drinking a lot ...
And another favourite of mine: "If you want people to listen to you, you have to listen to them. If you hope people will change how they live, you have to know how they live. If you want people to see you, you have to sit down with the eye-to-eye."
Anyway, back to the book, Gloria seems to me a very caring lady who feels for anyone who is disadvantaged for whatever reason, gender, race, anything you can imagine. Her life is a lifelong struggle, a war against ignorance. It is definitely worth a read.
I see a huge parallel between her life and mine, between her life and that of many women, only that she stood up for what she believed in. A great lady and a great book about a goal worth fighting for.
From the back cover: "Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. When she was a young girl, her father would pack the family in the car every fall and drive across country searching for adventure and trying to make a living. The seeds were planted: Gloria realized that growing up didn’t have to mean settling down. And so began a lifetime of travel, of activism and leadership, of listening to people whose voices and ideas would inspire change and revolution.
My Life on the Road is the moving, funny, and profound story of Gloria’s growth and also the growth of a revolutionary movement for equality - and the story of how surprising encounters on the road shaped both. From her first experience of social activism among women in India to her work as a journalist in the 1960s; from the whirlwind of political campaigns to the founding of Ms. magazine; from the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference to her travels through Indian Country - a lifetime spent on the road allowed Gloria to listen and connect deeply with people, to understand that context is everything, and to become part of a movement that would change the world."