Juli Rahel's Reviews > My Life on the Road

My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem
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Jan 18, 2017

it was amazing
bookshelves: our-shared-shelf

Gloria Steinem is as close to a living legend as it is possible to be. When I first started on my journey towards becoming the full blown feminist I am nowadays I knew her name and of some of her work. As the years passed, she would appear in articles and books I read at University and I'd see her on TV supporting and advocating causes I also believed in. It took until My Life on the Road, however, for me to actually sit down and get to know her. The beauty of this book, for me, lies in that I now do feel like I know more, not just about her, but about feminism, about women, about America, about freedom, about Native Americans and about struggle. I'm very grateful for this book. Thanks to Random House and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Life on the Road is filled with stories, anecdotes, brief glimpses into the lives of others, and realisations. That's because at the heart of My Life on the Road is storytelling and, its often forgotten partner, listening. By reading her memoir, the reader starts out on the path that Steinem herself travels: that of a listener. With each new chapter, each new aside, Steinem broadens the reader's world by showing how her own was opened through listening. But rather than advocate the 'be silent and listen to me preach'-approach, Steinem writes of a different kind of speaking and listening, one which is communal and equal. This book showcases the power of telling your story and thereby encouraging others to do the same. Whether it's Steinem's college tours which stretched into the early hours because once people realise they are being heard they have a lot to say, or Steinem herself being the one initiated into the true power of dialogue by women on an train across India, or women like Wilma Mankiller, My Life on the Road is an ode to conversation. There are those who think feminists are knowitalls, who want to tell you how to think and refuse to listen. They should read My Life on the Road and have their eyes opened.

Steinem is a great writer, which should come as no surprise considering she makes a living of it. Although there is no clear line throughout My Life on the Road, there is definitely a journey. And Steinem is very willing to share it with you, whether it's her own embarrassment at not knowing something, her own struggle with sexism in the workplace or the feeling of euphoria at having achieved something. Rarely do memoirs give me such an actual insight into someone's mind, someone's life. Although she writes about the past, My Life is on the Road is incredibly current. When she writes about the 2008 Democratic primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, many of her observations sting considering the November election. Despite the eight years that have come and gone, nothing changed in how Hillary Clinton was treated. When she writes about her involvement in Native American activism, the many prejudices and obstacles she sees Native Americans struggle with are still as present as ever. Solely for this, My Life on the Road is an enlightening read because it shows that the "fight" is not a battle but a journey. Every two steps forward sees us take a step back and we don't know where exactly it is we're going. But as long as we keep venturing forward, the destination will become clearer.

For full review: http://universeinwords.blogspot.hk/20...
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Reading Progress

November 2, 2015 – Started Reading
November 2, 2015 – Shelved
November 17, 2015 –
page 64
23.19% "Absolutely loving this one so far! Steinem is such an inspiration!"
January 13, 2016 – Shelved as: our-shared-shelf
January 19, 2017 – Finished Reading

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