#OurSharedShelf (1)

road

Book Club Pick: My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem

On Facebook a few weeks ago, I noticed that my friend and colleague Kourtney posted about a book club that Emma Watson is hosting. My interest immediately piqued at book club and further by Emma Watson, who has been an empowering figure within the United Nations and her personal passions about feminism. The more I looked into it, the more I wanted to participate in the #OurSharedShelf feminist book club.

To be honest, I have not been active in the movement and am even less knowledgeable about what feminism is all about. So I was hesitant and nervous about engaging in conversations with Kourtney as we planned to have monthly book club luncheons to discuss the pick and how it affects us in our work and daily life. However, reading through Gloria Steinem’s memoir, I was pleasantly surprised that most of her story and her actions I agreed with and felt empowered. Yes, I learned different ways to approach a situation but nothing was really shocking in a way that showed that I was not a feminist, if that makes sense.

Kourtney and I talked a lot about feeling envious for folks like Gloria that are able to pick up their lives and go and be on the road constantly. One of the quotes I loved from Gloria was that “adventure starts the moment I leave the door.” In a way, everything I do is an adventure, it’s my mindset when I go about it which makes it more exciting and worthwhile. With the big U.S. election coming in a few months, Gloria’s points and stories are quite poignant, especially when it comes to women voters and women in politics. It is amazing how many historical events Gloria was a part of (and even helped create!) that are not in our general history classes growing up. We are doing ourselves a disservice by not including key moments towards gender equality in our school systems.

I feel that the word ‘feminism is thrown around a lot these days and there is an expectation of what a feminist should look like, talk like, etc. Kourtney and I talked about our styles and how comments are thrown around how folks look like feminists. What does that even mean? Gloria’s stories talked about assumptions and getting to know people by sitting down with each other eye-to-eye. Her segment on drivers she has met because she doesn’t drive was fantastic as she had initial thoughts (as is human) and took the time to understand the person behind the wheel and learn their story. Wow. What a simple act! Even if there is initial judgment based on whatever (dress, pictures, language, visible identity, etc.) there is way more to be learned and broken down to what makes that person unique.

After our discussion, I felt on such a high to keep going with the book club and learning about myself and the role of feminism I can play. I cannot thank Emma Watson and of course my colleague enough for sharing this experience.

Up next, The Color Purple by Alice Walker! Until then 🙂

Are you reading #OurSharedShelf ? 

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