My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

I listened to My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem on audiobook and it was read by Debra Winger. Gloria Steinem read the introduction and the foreword, but Debra Winger was a great narrator, so it didn’t take away that Steinem didn’t read it herself.

The book
My life on the road is a memoir by Gloria Steinem and it details her life from a young age until now, and how she spent her life traveling the road in America and India and everywhere else she travelled. Steinem grew up on the road in the States. Her father would buy antiques, then go on the road and sell them for profit. Steinem and her siblings were pretty much home schooled, until she took her last year of high school in an actual school. Her traveling has continued after, and instead of settling down when she had the chance she kept traveling.

I really, really loved this. I listened to it on audio, and the narrator was lovely, and it sounded just like a story, not really like a memoir, which I enjoy.

Gloria Steinem is a huge figure in American feminism, or general feminism. She has been involved in modern feminism for decades. She has spent most of her life fighting for women’s rights, or working on political campaigns, like the Obama campaign.

It’s fascinating to read, or listen to, about the life of someone who has spent so much time traveling. Obviously if you participate in a political campaign you’ll have to travel, but she also travels around giving lectures, hosting discussions and women’s circles. She speaks at universities, she travels to other countries and experiences how women exist in other parts of the world.

It’s really fascinating to see how even though women live in different worlds, sort of, but there are things that are still similar. Women all over the world come together and talk about being women, and give each other advice and work together, and are women together.

Steinem has also worked most of her life with Florynce Kennedy. They would go on the lecture circuit together. According to her memoir Gloria Steinem as a straight, white woman found it very important to include women of color and women of sexual minorities. When Steinem founded Ms Magazine she insisted on having black, Hispanic and Native women on the board so their voices would always be represented. She also had a lifelong friendship with Wilma Mankiller, the Native American activist. It is a testament to her writing that I almost cried when Steinem wrote about Mankiller’s death. Obviously it’s sad when someone dies, but it’s a fairly short book and there isn’t too much time dedicated to Mankiller’s illness. But it’s written with so much love and emotion, and I had pretty much no relationship to Mankiller, except I knew vaguely who she was, and I was standing at a bus stop trying not to cry because Steinem was obviously very pained writing about her friend.

It’s so beautiful, and so wonderful, and I learned so much about what Gloria Steinem did with feminism, and for feminism, and for intersectional feminism. She’s always worked hard to include women of color and sexual minorities, and not just included them, but listened to them and given over the spotlight to the people who know what they’re talking about.

It was also very interesting to see Steinem confronted with her own prejudices, because obviously no one is perfect. There’s a scene where she’s in the South somewhere doing a lecture on something, and they happen to be in the same place as the stop for a motorcycle group going across the country. And Steinem thinks that these people must find this lecture and women’s circle thing she’s doing really weird and maybe a bit useless. And a woman biker comes over and tells her that Ms Magazine has meant everything to her, and she loves it, and her husband reads it all the time. And it’s just so sweet. And similar things happens a couple more times and it’s nice to see someone be confronted with their prejudices and just taking it in and rearranging how she thinks.


So in conclusion I really liked it, I thought it was amazing. I want to read more of her books and articles, and books and stuff by people she’s worked with. I’m excited.