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Jan—My Life on the Road (2016) > This Book Makes Me Feel Like Part of a Legacy

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message 1: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Valleroy | 30 comments I have a choice now, to be an uninvolved reader and let Steinem's words pass through me, or to be one in a line of intelligent women learning and influencing each other, letting t
Steinem's words and those of the women she quotes dissolve inside of me like sugar and change the overall flavor of me.

Forgive my wordiness, I excite easily.

My point here is: does anyone else feel inspired and changed by understanding this book? And I want to hear more from the smart young men and women in my own position. What parts inspire you? What would you most like to do to be a part of this strong feminist legacy?


message 2: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Knowles | 8 comments We must remember upon whose shoulders we stand.


message 3: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Knowles | 8 comments We must remember upon whose shoulders we stand.


message 4: by Steph (new)

Steph T (mrssterrance) | 5 comments Hi there!

I just finished My Life on the Road and I cannot emphasise enough how inspired and changed I feel. I'm so glad that you started this topic and I hope that many others feel the way that we do.

In all honestly, I'm probably not going to start actively campaigning, writing articles or anything major like that. The way that I believe that I will change in life and in a feminist sort of way, is through my perspective and calling out injustices as I see them. Too often are young women like myself cat called on the side of the street, made to feel unsafe on their journeys home, made to choose between child-rearing and a career, called a you know what just for being a powerful leader etc, and on the same spectrum too often are men chastised or belittled for feelings, of wanting to undertake traditional female careers etc.

Accordingly, I have been inspired simply to be more aware. To see with new eyes and understand the world from different perspectives. Not to remain in ignorant bliss. I hope that others have been inspired in a similar manner. xx


message 5: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Valleroy | 30 comments I'm glad you feel that way, Steph <3 As a writer I feel sometimes helpless and sometimes empowered that my only real talent is in my voice. We fight stigma and spread education with our words, so it's a talent I'm lucky to have, but I always worry I'm living my life as a slacktivist when I spend time writing books and articles about domestic violence instead of... I don't know, I don't even know what else I would do about that. This book made me feel that there is truly power in spreading knowledge.


message 6: by Jo (new)

Jo Words are powerful weapons whether spoken or written. Consciousness and awareness of sexism is the start, the first steps. Don't be afraid to call out those who belittle men as weak for wanting to spend time with their children, who empower their women colleagues, who are called 'whipped' for speaking up and defending feminist principles of equality and fairness. Men who see and appreciate their privilege are attacked for contributing to the 'pussification' of society. Women who embrace the feminist cause, however they choose to do so, soon discover the men who feel threatened, who attack feminism as sexist, who demand that feminists answer all their talking points or be silent. Awareness and seeing new perspectives, thinking about what is and asking why, writing articles and books; this is activism. It's just a matter of scale.


message 7: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Fisher | 6 comments I feel part of a legacy too. I'm not going to be an activist but I feel more able to call things out that I notice in day to day life, and better prepared to have those discussions or arguments after reading this book. I also feel more free to do things how I want to do them, rather than feeling I have to conform to society's expectations - so far in how I dress but I'm sure it will pop up in other areas too!


message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Valleroy | 30 comments Changing how you dress to suit yourself better is a big change to make.


message 9: by Rose (new)

Rose Pope (posierope) | 8 comments Following such an important and astounding line of free and intelligent thinkers, I do think it is our responsibility to carry on and keep forcing change. I don't think I'll ever be a public speaker or affect change on such a huge level as Steinem for example, but I do believe we should all be responsible for educating those close to us.

For example, my colleagues (who are mostly female) frequently use sexist, racist and homophobic language just as part of conversation. They have realised that I hate it and will very vocally tell them they're disgusting when they use it, so now they deliberately use it to make me angry. It was worth all of the arguing however when a new colleague who is 25 years my senior asked me quietly to carry on correcting her when she was inappropriate, because it hadn't even occurred to her that things like "man up" or "stop being a girl's blouse" or "grow a pair" could be insulting. Just this one woman asking me to help her change her attitude and language made me feel like I was making a difference, no matter how small.

Reading this book reminded me how important it is to just always stand up for each other, even if there is no one to listen.


message 10: by Jen H (new)

Jen H (jeninthed) | 8 comments I feel incredible having just finished the book. I was so moved as I read this book. Very inspiring. I feel changed.


message 11: by Jen H (new)

Jen H (jeninthed) | 8 comments I feel incredible having just finished the book. I was so moved as I read this book. Very inspiring. I feel changed.


message 12: by Jen H (new)

Jen H (jeninthed) | 8 comments I feel incredible having just finished the book. I was so moved as I read this book. Very inspiring. I feel changed.


message 13: by Jen H (new)

Jen H (jeninthed) | 8 comments I feel incredible having just finished the book. I was so moved as I read this book. Very inspiring. I feel changed.


message 14: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Svare | 1 comments It was incredibly eye opening to read this book. I was blissfully ignorant of all of the sexism, racism, and all of the other -isms going on all over the world. Now I have a better understanding of the problem. Before I thought that the main problem woman face today was cat-calling and lower wages. However woman are also subject to being raped, they aren't taken seriously in some professional communities, and a multitude of other issues. Now I think it is more about giving a voice to minorities. The world would be a much better place with less discrimination. I absolutely loved this book and I can't wait to read the next!


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

I am almost finished with My Life on the Road, and wow. I feel like this one book has built a cocoon around me and I'm not sure what I'm changing into. I was one of those women who believed the lie that feminism was obsolete, not necessary anymore.

Boy, was I wrong.

I'm seeing it everywhere, the subtle (and not so subtle) ways that we are still subjugated and made to feel that we should stay "in our place." Ms. Steinem's voice has become my inner monologue recently, pointing out when things are unjust.

As a teacher, I feel that I'm in a good position to effect change by helping my students to think critically about the world in which we live. This book has taught me that there are no easy answers, but that doesn't mean we should stop asking the hard questions.

What a great start to this book club, and I can't wait to start reading The Color Purple.


message 16: by Hali (last edited Feb 04, 2016 05:04PM) (new)

Hali (dreamslikediamondss) | 12 comments I feel deeply moved and changed after having finished this book. Like others have said, I simply feel more aware about the world around me and when the time comes, I now know that I am more likely to act rather than look away. Through this book, I have begun to realise the importance of politics and have vowed to take more notice of local politics as well as national and international. I haven't done this before now as politics frustrates me but after having read this book, I think my view is changing and I am determined to learn more.

I think the same goes with feminism. I am studying to be a primary school teacher and I think the more I learn, the more opinions I hear, the more I can incorporate into my classroom and classroom life for the students. For me, its about educating myself so I can educate others.


message 17: by Judy (new)

Judy | 63 comments Abigail wrote: "I feel part of a legacy too. I'm not going to be an activist but I feel more able to call things out that I notice in day to day life, and better prepared to have those discussions or arguments aft..."i think by being a part of the circle of readers here is activism in itself. As you say, it's now in your awareness and you can't unknow what you now know.


message 18: by Judy (new)

Judy | 63 comments I have a grandson who is 17. He balks at the word feminisim. In sharing with him the excitment and fun i'm experiencing by participating in this book club, i've been able to have some really good discussions with him. While i won't say he totally gets it, there were moments the other night when we were talking, when a little light bulb went on and he said, "oh yeah, i get that". Everything we do, be, have expresses who we are and what our truth is. Every little thing. It all counts.


message 19: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments Great input! Somehow I've missed this thread earlier.

What shines through all the replies is our everyday lives. Profound changes need to happen voluntarily, not because a law or rule says so, but because people see the benefits clearly, and wish to change as a result.

In this very group there have been some hard discussions already, including the on-going debate on white feminism. The reason why I try to keep the exchange of experiences and opinions going is because one party has a hugely favourable position, whereas others don't. For the one party to desire to give up something, a profound change needs to happen, and usually things go more smoothly when there is a genuine desire to change. But for that to happen, I believe the unfavourably positioned parties might have to be even louder than they already are. And the favourably positioned need to learn to listen more and better.

Outside of the group I do my best to act like others have mentioned already: call out when sexist, racist, etc. stuff is being said or written.


message 20: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Judy wrote: "I have a grandson who is 17. He balks at the word feminisim. In sharing with him the excitment and fun i'm experiencing by participating in this book club, i've been able to have some really good d..."
Judy, he is 17, and that was the time when my life really changed A LOT. I think he will come to a conclusion with feminism and I think he will finally get it. Give him time, for we young ones need time to truly understand something, especially when it's as complicated as feminism.

Judy wrote: "Abigail wrote: "I feel part of a legacy too. I'm not going to be an activist but I feel more able to call things out that I notice in day to day life, and better prepared to have those discussions ..."
In ten years or twenty years time your feministic awakening will show how much you'd like to change. Don't stress, stress is bad, especially when turned inwards.

Temperance wrote: "I feel deeply moved and changed after having finished this book. Like others have said, I simply feel more aware about the world around me and when the time comes, I now know that I am more likely ..."
Maybe you can adapt some of the issues of My Life on the Road to your pupils. I mean, you do not have to translate the whole book, but even little parts of it can have a big influence.

Tara wrote: "I am almost finished with My Life on the Road, and wow. I feel like this one book has built a cocoon around me and I'm not sure what I'm changing into. I was one of those women who believed the lie..."
Being a teacher definitely helps to spread feminism since you meet a lot of different pupils and as you already said, since January I became way more aware of sexist, racist... comments.

Amanda wrote: "I'm glad you feel that way, Steph <3 As a writer I feel sometimes helpless and sometimes empowered that my only real talent is in my voice. We fight stigma and spread education with our words, so i..."
The ways in which feminism can be spread are different. I think that writing about domestic violence is a very feministic issue, since you make people aware of it and you can also write about means of help. Feminism is about equality, and inequality is the root of domestic violence, so you're fighting in the first line.

Deborah wrote: "We must remember upon whose shoulders we stand."
Yes, we definitely have to. Without people like Gloria, the LGBT movement never would have been possible. So we have to be thankful to her in two ways. We have to be thankful to Gloria for carrying feminism into the world and thus enabling the LGBT movement and many other movements.


message 21: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments I definitely feel like the part of a legacy now. And it started with My Life on the Road!

I really like to be able to extend my hand now and invite my mum on my feminist journey. I gift her My Life on the Road for Christmas.


message 22: by Judy (new)

Judy | 63 comments Very cool! I actually got to meet Gloria Steinem at a small political event need my home before the election. Part of a legacy indeed! I was accompanied by my daughter, grandaughter and my niece was one of the organizers.


message 23: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Judy wrote: "Very cool! I actually got to meet Gloria Steinem at a small political event need my home before the election. Part of a legacy indeed! I was accompanied by my daughter, grandaughter and my niece wa..."

Wow, Judy, whar an honour!
Now, I don't think she'll come across the pond, let alone Austria.

I'd never invite my mum over here, tho, OSS is special, and apart from the fact that I don't want her to be here, she's not fond of new technology.


message 24: by Judy (new)

Judy | 63 comments I think just gifting the book will speak to your mom and the 2 of you can share insights and conversation. My mom was kind of a rebel, but within the system and mores of her day. She passed away a year ago at 91 so a whole different generation. While she lived with me in her 80's, she was always watching the news and loved Obama. When I suggested she register as an absentee voter, she replied that she had never voted and never would. When asked why she replied because her mother never had.(!) Awareness is slow in coming to our world, but nevertheless absolutely crucial.


message 25: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Judy wrote: "I think just gifting the book will speak to your mom and the 2 of you can share insights and conversation. My mom was kind of a rebel, but within the system and mores of her day. She passed away a ..."

To be honest, I definitely know my mum has the potential to become a feminist like the definition. But on the other hand I doubt it, let's see.

I simply don't know if she will grasp what I gift her. I know that sounds terrible, but I don't know whether she will read it all along. I can just hope.


message 26: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya23510) | 17 comments I too recently finished reading this beautiful book (A bit late to the party - I know!) and I agree completely. After reading this book, I felt definitely felt part of something bigger and eternally grateful for all the feminists before me! I can't help but think of my mother's and my grandmother's lives and notice how much their lives are different between the generations, which have greatly been impacted by these events. I have to admit, I never thought of it that way. Had it not been for all these people before me, I may have had to live my life the same way my Grandmother did back in the 50's. This book has definitely made me more aware and I am sure I will never be the same again and I am looking forward to learning more!

I will also gifted a copy to my mother, looking forward to hearing what she thinks!!


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