Gloria Steinem’s name and reputation are familiar, but I’d forgotten how inspiring her writing can be. I loved this memoir from the moment I read the dedication which was to the doctor who illegally organised an abortion for Gloria in 1957. Later she writes about how society had made her feel at fault, until she realized that there were political reasons why female humans were not supposed to make decisions about our own bodies. Gloria’s philosophy appeals, and the book is full of good ideas and fascinating facts. She also writes that “Rhyming in itself is magic” – guaranteed to please this writer of rhyming verse. Did you know that the Iroquois Nation is the oldest continuous democracy in the world, and provided the model for the U.S. Constitution? Or that Gandhi urged Indian activists working for self-rule to emulate the courage and tactics of the suffragist Pankhursts? Gloria says the clearest view is always from the bottom, and stresses that decisions are best made by the people affected by them – long a Green Party philosophy.
This book taught me a great deal about Amercian history, especially in the area of social justice and First Peoples. It has certainly given me a better idea of Hilary Clinton, who might make a real difference if she becomes President.
There’s just so much in this book, and it’s beautifully written, with hints of feminist spirituality. It was a relief to read that Gloria has seen enough change to have faith that more will come.
“This woman has a magic touch
she’s seen and done so very much.”