Thursday, February 11, 2016

Our Shared Shelf: January

Much to my delight one of my favorite actors and people living on this planet, Emma Watson, decided to create a feminist book club for this year.  My title suggestion of A Feminist's Reading Agenda was not picked, sadly.  But Our Shared Shelf seems like an acceptable choice.  The first month's pick was My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem.

The book chronicles Gloria's life of travel.  First, she is stuck in the car with her family driven around the country by her father.  His appetite for life on the road dictated the family and their situation.  This childhood will lead Gloria to desire the feeling of home, but live her life traveling anyway.  She shares her stories from many different perspectives.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

"What seems to be one thing from a distance is very different close up." -Prelude

"I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong." -Pg 39

"[...] but younger and more radical women didn't want just a job and a piece of the existing pie.  They wanted to bake a new pie altogether." -Pg 48

"Altogether, if I had to pick one place to hang out anywhere, from New York to Cape Town and Australia to Hong Kong, a bookstore would be it." -Pg 52

"Because adventure starts the moment I leave my door." -Pg 70

"Girls need to know they can break the rules." -Pg 79

"'Filters let in a cup of water,' he says, 'but keep out the ocean.'" -Pg 82

"'We have long known that rape has been a way of terrorizing us and keeping us in subjection.  Now we also know that we have participated, although unwittingly, in the rape of our minds.'" -Pg 98

"Roots can exist without flowers, but no flower can exist without roots." -Pg 117

"'Always look at what people do,' as my mother said, 'not at who they are.'" -Pg 127

"This was my first hint of the truism that depression is anger turned inward; thus women are twice as likely to be depressed." -Pg 129

"When the past dies, we mourn for the dead.  When the future dies, we mourn for ourselves." -Pg 138

"'The purpose of ass-kicking is not that your ass gets kicked at the right time or for the right reason,' she often explained. 'It's to keep your ass sensitive.'" -Pg 170

"Polls show that what women fear most from men is violence, and what men fear most from women is ridicule." -Pg 180

"Laughter is an orgasm of the mind." -Pg 181

"The simple right to reproductive freedom--to sexuality as an expression that is separable from reproduction--is basic to restoring women's power, the balance between women and men, and a balance between humans and nature." -Pg 204

"'I'll see you on the other side of the mountain.'" -Pg 244

My favorite chapter was by far Gloria's experiences with cab drivers.  There is so much to learn from those that drive people everywhere and are often the driving equivalent of priests or bartenders.  These are the people that overhear some deepest, darkest secrets just by sitting in the front seat and driving around.

Recently, Gloria made some comments that disturbed me.  Reading this book at the time of my life that I'm at was very powerful.  This book made me feel stronger and made me very enamored with her life story.  But then she had to go make an asinine comment about women who support Bernie Sanders. Saying that young women who support him are only doing so to catch a guy because the young men are following him is not only sexist but minimizing.  I follow Bernie Sanders because he sticks to what he believes, he isn't controlled by corporation donations, and he actually seems like a genuine person.  Her half-hearted apology was more of an excuse than an actual apology.  I understand from her writing that she is in Hillary's camp, and that's fine.  But please don't minimize women who support someone else.

Next Month: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

No comments: