Gloria Steinem begins her latest book by describing an airplane ride to Rapid City, South Dakota, during the week of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Steinem first views the biker culture as sexist, a view I would say is quite accurate in a lot of cases. But then something shifts. She visits with a middle-aged female biker who explains that since she began riding motorcycles, she and her husband have had a completely new level of equality in their relationship. It’s empowering and evens the playing field.
Wow. What happens when your long-admired feminist idol takes something you dislike about your hometown and acknowledges it as a breakthrough in gender equality?
And that’s the point of this book. Steinem, now 82 years old, writes about traveling and how the people she has met along the way have completely changed her way of thinking about cultures, stereotypes, and more.
(Image from amazon.com)
This is the most inspiring piece of non-fiction I have read in a really long time and maybe the timing was just right for me. After a particularly rough week at work, I was drawn to Steinem’s interpretation of a nasty conflict with a fellow feminist in the 1960s. She writes: “I needed a teacher in surviving conflict, and she was it.” I jotted that one down on a Post-It and placed it on my keyboard at work. Thank you, Gloria Steinem, for continuing to be relevant and changing my way of thinking.