i won the hardcover version of this book in a feminist essay contest as a freshman (or first-year, i should say... i think it was my first year, maybe second...) in high school. as a result i sat on a panel with other winners of the contest. being a panel there were people in the audience. the male participants dominated the conversation. i'm not sure i said anything. same thing when i was on the academically speaking team in middle school -- man, i didn't want to press that buzzer. later in high school i wrote an essay for my african american literature class that caused my friend felipa to say "rebecca, you sound like louis farrakhan!" (black power, not anti-semitism, just to clarify here.)
my other high school writing achivements included finalist in a national council of teachers of english contest along with two guys wih reputations for being smart, setting the record for number of pieces accepted in the literary magazine (they had to create a 10-piece limit rule as a result), and being one of two people in senior AP English--the other got a 1600 on the SATs, is a black belt in tae kwon doe, and plays the bassoon --to get an A for an essay on Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. (My essay included a negative review the book.) In middle school i won honorable mention in a moon-base design contest (along with my friend felipa, mentioned above) and several science fairs and english awards. in high school i also starred in many theatrical productions, including miss havisham in great expectations.
These is neither here or there about Steinem's book, other than it makes me think of my days as a high academic achiever filled with potential. what gives?